Skip to main content

Full text of "Dorothea, a story of the pure in heart"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 

1 -X 4 4 f. 3 ff. X, 

Harbarb CoOege %Mmp 








Each, 12ino, cloth, gilt, $1.50. 


A Story of the Pure in Heart. 


Twelfth Printing, 
"The story is wonderfully brilliant. . . . The interest 
never lags ; the style is realistic and intense ; and there is 
a constantly underlying current of subtile humor. ... It 
is, in short, a book which no student of modem literature 
should fail to read." — Boston Times. 


Ttoelfth Printing, 

**We are given a glimpse of Dutch politics, and more 
than a glimpse — a charming, all-round view of Dutch 
people at home." — New York Times, 


Sixth Printing, 

" Maarten Maartens in ' The^ Greater Glory * has even 
eclipsed his fine performance in the writing of ^ God's 
Fool.' This new work deals with hi^h life in Holland, 
and the Dutch master has portrayed it with the touch of 
true genius. The storj' is full of color and of dramatic 
situations delicately wrought out." — Philadelphia Press. 


With Photogravure Portrait. Third Printing. 

'* Maarten Maartens took us all by storm some time 
ago with his fine story christened * God s Fool.' He estab- 
lished himself at once in our affections as a unique crea- 
ture who had something to say and knew how to say it in 
the most fascinating way." — New York Herald. 


With Frontispiece. Third Printing. 
Maarten Maartens is recognized by all readers of 
fiction as one of the most artistic and finished novel- 
ists of the day, and he has done nothing that shows 
certain fine characteristics of his work better than 
this gallery of charmingly executed miniatures. 



A Story of the Pure in Heart 




2. ^^w r 3?. a 




Hf8 7 19W 



Published, May, 1904 









Slowly the winter morning awoke. 

Slowly beyond the far, fathomless darkness the first lines 
of faint color crept, trembling, along the horizon. In the dull, 
grey silence^ the sleepy earth hung, still. Shade after shade of 
pallid coldness lengthened, in sluggish certainty of increase, 
across the slaty sky. And the laggard hours, with ashen cheeks, 
gazed backwards, upon the sunless depths that yawned below. 

Suddenly, from out the amber vastness of the empty east, 
two white rays flung themselves forwards, as if a woman, up- 
rising from slumber, should flash across the sable coverlet the 
pearly radiance of her arms. Yet nothing stirred. The million 
lives that start awake to greet a summer sunrise were dead, or 
sick, or numbed to rest in wretchedness and want. Upon the 
grim December daybreak weighed the lonliness of death. One 
by one, as shrouded lamps are lighted in some funeral chamber, 
vague wisps of whiteness broke the vacant dome of heaven. 

The pinewoods, that stretch densely north in serried undula- 
tions, still banked the mighty blackness with their motionless 
immensities of gloom, but high above them, far before them, 
the victorious dayspring, like a rising river, irresistible, spread 
across the fading firmament its promise of the morn. 

Beneath these frigid glories of the twilight the noiseless 
shadows seemed to sink unseen into the soil. Then, all at once, 
the brightness from on high fell, like a loosened robe, along the 
blackness down below. For the climbing beams had reached 
and struck the snow-lit stretch of valley : it lay revealed before 
the untender day, with sudden quivers swiftly passing over it, 
as of regretful longing for the comfortable dark. Upon the 
lowest rim of heaven the sullen sun stood watching. 

Dorothea opened her eyes. In the clearness that spread cold 



about her muslin-cuTtained window, the first weak rays hung, 
like a lover's glances, caught. Half asleep, she lay back, await- 
ing the uncertain moment when those timid messengers thai 
fumbled at her casement would break through every obstacle 
and, clinging to vague outlines in the greyness, fill all thei^ 
broadening pathway with a silver mist. In that imequal con- 
test the mild sympathies of healthful laziness are all enlisted 
on the losing side. For, when first the voiceless morning enters, 
night and sleep combine their dense resistance, pressing forward 
to outcloud him, sinking back, with dogged silence, into all the 
yet imcaptured comers of the room. But the dimness takes 
familiar shape and color: the relentless conqueror, gliding 
towards the helpful radiance of the sheeny bed and pillows, 
drives before him, as a breath of wind might chase the summer 
cloudlets, all the failing forces of the long-lived, frost-bound 
gloom. In heavy folds of snow-hushed sloth man and nature 
seem entangled, lying prone. Outside, the drowsing earth, with 
half-closed eyelids, shivers in mighty stretchings of brown 
flanks beneath an insufficient covering. Inside, a hundred 
friendly objects step forth from ancient hiding places, as men 
that were in ambush, and wait. 

Dorothea sat up in bed, and a sigh of fellow-feeling with all 
the unwilling universe ran slowly along her lissom limbs. 

"After all, this is my day," said Dorothea. "Everybody 
can't be born in June." 

She lingered for a moment, tenderly thoughtful, against the 
bedside, her fair hair in a flood about her shoulders, her night- 
robe sinking to the floor. Her eyes were fixed upon a woman's 
faded portrait that mildly gazed towards her from the wall. 
"Yours and mine," she added in a whisper. She might have 
cried the words aloud, for there is no response. 

She went forward to the window and stood looking out. 
One bare arm, down which the sleeve had fallen to the elbow, 
held up the flimsy curtain, while her awakening gaze embraced 
the raw, unready day. She turned away, with an impatient 
jerk, for youth still ever deems it has a right, even in frost and 
snow, to floods of sunshine : she turned away and faced her own 
tall figure, rising, gold-encircled, like a mermaid, from the glass. 
She shook back the shining torrent from her temples, making a 
sudden radiance in the half-dark of the room. 

" Dorothea, don't be stupid I " she said aloud. " Why, last 
birthday it rained I " She had acquired this foolish habit of 
commiming with herself aloud, for her youth had passed en* 


closed in a group of grown-up people, and a child, amongst 
grown-up people, lives alone. 

She dressed herself now with careful haste. The fi^h 
water rippled and broke all about her, as she poised, a roseleaf 
Naiad, on the azure surface of her saucer-bath! — ^the next mo- 
ment, see, it was Venus, the Anadyomene, who, deserting the 
blue depths that twinkled beneath her, ascended, enfolded in 
shaggy white foam like a cloud I The curtain falls rapidly over 
the scene, lest Peeping Tom should laugh. 

Dorothea Sandring was not by nature sentimental, yet on 
this birthday morning her grey eyes strayed repeatedly to the 
pale water-color drawing against the wall, the while she 
threaded her reflective way through that small maze of daily 
intricacies which must combine to form the simplest woman's 
toilet. They strayed, those solemn eyes of hers, untouched, 
from the bright mirror, so pleasingly responsive, before which 
she stood coiling her golden wealth of hair. She was twenty- 
one to-day. At that age a good woman glances at the glass. 
She does not begin to gaze till the wrinkles begin to show. 

Dorothea was not by nature sentimental, but her gentle 
youth had been early tuned to serious thoughts upon this birth- 
day morning. For the dawn that had conferred upon her the 
fair gift of existence, had withdrawn it from another : she had 
met, and passed, her mother's soul at the threshold of the world. 
Years ago, when still a lisping infant, she had asked the aunts 
whose brightness lapped her childhood in all the loves and fan- 
cies that flower about pure women — stopping abruptly in her 
play with the shiny new toys, a white muslin, blue-ribboned, 
yellow-curled dot on the carpet, she had lifted aloft a fierce 
picture book, full of multi-colored angels, and had asked the 
smiling aunts : 

" My birfday's the day I came here ? " 
"Yes, darling, yes — four years ago," said the aunts beam- 
ing, stiff and straight, from both sides of the fireplace. 

" Then, auntie Mary, to-day must be mother's birf day in 
heaven ? " 

" Yes, darling," answered aunt Mary, softly, for she it was 
spoke of mother to Dorothea. 

" And do the sing-sing angels bring her toys ? " 

" Grown-up people don't have toys, Dorothea." 

Aunt Mary went across and kissed her curly baby. " They 
have living toys," she said, and nodded to aunt Emma. 

Sad as must seem the conception of a toyless festival — ^but 


then, countless are the woes of the children's heaven — ^the idea- 
of this double celebration puzzled itself deep into little Doro- 
thea's brain. The day became, in its exact recurrence, the stead- 
fast link between the child and her dead. For it was the one 
slight scrap of time they owned in common, the one brief x>oint 
in which their estranged lives met and touched. 

" Auntie Mary, tell me, have I never seen mother since 
then?" Dorothea was now a few years older and had begun 
those mental wrigglings which men have graced with the name 
of reason. 

" Except when, dear child ? You know, you have never " 

" Except when I was bom ? " 

" God bless the poor darling ! — ^yes. No, I mean — ^that is to 

say, I " But Dorothea was no longer listening, and aimt 

Mary wisely stopped. 

At last the small creature heaved a long sigh. " Oh, such 
a pity I " she said, " I can't remember." 

Then aunt Mary unconsciously leaped a great leap. For 
she knew many things that wise people do not. " Mother can," 
she said. 

Dorothea, implicitly believing these words, understood that 
her childish soul and the soul whose life was nearest her own 
had in one most unutterably solemn moment faced each other, 
corporeally, eye to eye. Then that other soul, of which aunt 
Mary so often spoke in a Sunday hush, had passed into some 
other world, for ever, and Dorothea's gaze struck cold against 
the portrait on the wall. 

"It's our birfday," she had said stoutly, in short frocks. 
And her aunts had let her say: they would have been the last 
to dull the little sparkles that light up the earthly road. But 
they had laughed at the child for asking if any one else had 
been bom on the thirteenth of December? That joke had stood 
against her in the cheerful household, where smallest jokes 
throve best. 

"This, as you know, is Dorothea's special birthday," said 
aunt Emma, archly. " Nobody would ever have ventured to be 
bom on the same day as she." 

"Don't aunt Emma; you know I can't Lear being teased." 

" Alas, poor dear ! " exclaimed aunt Emma in her favorite 
philosophic attitude ; " Alas, poor dear I indeed then you ought 
to have been bom a man ! " 

" Please, what do you mean, aunt Emma ? " 

Dorothea seldom understood this younger aunt, when she 


was serious. Aunt Emma was the humorous and playful ele- 
ment in her existence, a creature to romp and laugh with in 
those childish days when both were young. 

" Aunt Emma means a * boy/ dear," said aunt Mary. " Lit- 
tle boys tease little girls." 

" And big boys, big girls I " cried Emma rebelliously. For 
Emma's heart, as all about her knew, had suffered much. 

"Ma chere!" protested Mary. Dorothea's tiny ears had 
long ago caught the meaning of " Ma chere." It was aunt Mary 
scolding aunt Emma. She wished that her rebukings would 
take so concise a form. 

" Yes, it is our own day, all to ourselves, our very own 1 " 
said Dorothea. " What do I care, if other people have it also, 
people I have never heard of — they don't share it with me?« 
You and I, we share it, mother. We will keep it together in the 
early morning, before anyone is stirring, to spy on us and inter- 
fere. Mother, you who see me up yonder, what would you say, 
could your daughter forget ? " Ah, the terrible question ! What 
do they say, when their children forget? 

But Dorothea Sandring remembered. Every thirteenth of 
December, in that grim and grisly daybreak, which once had 
mingled a first breath with a final, before the noise of festivity 
and congratulation broke in upon her reveries, she had, in all 
simplicity, performed the self-appointed service of affection 
which now once more awaited her to-day. 

She hurried down the creaking stairs, into the deserted hall. 
Countless inanimate objects watched her passage across the 
heavy wintry light. On the hall table lay the gardener's yearly 
wreath of creamy lilacs and purple orchids, as if placed in readi- 
ness by unseen hands. Kot a soul was in sight. So she had 
asked to have it, when a happy child of twelve. She took the 
flowers and opened the great hall door. 

The rawness of the Dutch December morning struck her 
full in the face. She shuddered, and then, as quickly, smiled. 
Before her stretched the wide expanse of park, black, with a 
scattered lace-work of snow all over it, like a great, untidy quilt. 
In the distance shreds of crimson still hung here and there 
against a gleaming sky. She set off, walking briskly, down 
unequal by-paths, towards the low-sunk spire that trembled in 
the haze. 

As the rusty gate swung back upon its hinges, she put out a 
hasty hand, lest the shriek which she knew so well should strike 
on the silence aroimd. In the village churchyard, where the 


dead heed change nor season, that morning's uncertain awaken- 
ing had awakened nothing at all. Nature, who often seems so 
painfully alive in churchyards, was fast asleep. And the snow 
lay thicker here, unmoved and soundless, about the staring 
headstones. Stay, if you looked, the headstones were awake. 
They never close an eye, from mom till eve, nor through all the 
lonely moonlight; telling their unending story, that means 
nothing or means everything, over and over again, then bidding 
you pass and forget. In Memory. Bidding you pass and forget. 
Dorothea remembered. She stood before the single marble 
cross that rises among humbler tokens — ^a pure white marble 
cross, only slightly tinged by time: 

f)ere IReposetb 

In Hope of the Blessed Resurrection 


Dearly Beloved Wife of Captain Lewis Foye Sandring, 

Who died at Brodryck, Dec. 13th, 18—, 

Aged 22 yrs. and 4 mths. 

" Blessed are the Pure in Heart, for they shall see OodJ^ 

Dorothea bent to lay her flowers upon the stone and lightly 
brushed aside a few damp flakes of snow. 

A crow, who had no particular connection with the church- 
yard but probably liked its listening depths of stillness, broke; 
from his gaunt black branch of beach, into a hideous caw. 
Dorothea started, looked up, and nodded to the crow. 

Her eyes had already twice sought the little wicket that leads 
into the parsonage garden. Now, lingering, step by step, she 
began to retrace her path. For she vainly awaited the old 
parson's coming, whose annual privilege it had been, this many 
a year, to meet her as she wended on her homeward way, and 
bring her his good wishes, that were a benediction, before she 
faced her own adoring world. The minister's brow was young, 
beneath its crown of glory: the minister's heart was soft, be- 
neath its Geneva bands. 

So she had forgiven him his first intrusion, which had come 
unsought by either. Long before any one had ever dreamed of 
little Dorothy Sandring, the village pastor had daily sought the 
early repose of the village graveyard, close beside his parsonage : 
Was it then his fault if he happed one mid-winter morning on 


a little girl who desired to be alone? In dismay he crept aside, 
whereon she, with a burst of gratitude, ran after him, crying 
out that this day was her birthday, and bidding him wish her 
many happy returns ! He stood for a moment, looking straight 
into her eyes. " God bless you," he said, and walked away, feel- 
ing that the situation called for no further comment or converse. 
Did she feel it too? She was a small child. From that day 
she and the grave minister were intimate friends. Year after 
year he had waited by the wicket to greet her as she came away. 
There was no one thus waiting there now. 

But a few yards within the lane, among the snow-splashed 
laurels, Mark Lester met her, the minister's student son. She 
started back, resenting his unseemly presence there. 

"Father sent me," said Mark Lester quickly. "His chest 
is so bad, he dared not come out himself. He was afraid you 
might wait for him. He's written you his birthday wish." 

" Thank you," said Dorothea, taking the proffered envelope. 
" I'm sorry you had to trouble, Mark." 

" Father bade me," answered the young man simply. Doro- 
thea felt that her tone had not been as kind as her intention. 

" It was very good of you to come," she added. A smile came 
over his thin and proudly featured face, a hectic face with 
passionate eyes, the face of such as greatly suffer — and enjoy. 

" If I also congratulate you," he said, " please do not trouble 
to say * thank you ' again. It is hardly necessary." 

"I won't. What made you come over from Leyden last 
night, Mark? You weren't expected. It wasn't to wish me 
many happy returns?" She laughed. 

" No," replied the student brusquely, " I wanted a talk with 
my father : well, I've had it." He kicked, with his nervous foot, 
at a clumsy lump of snow. It crumbled a little, immoved, and 
he fiercely, and vainly, kicked harder. 

Dorothea was silent : the ripple of banter had all died away 
from her face. 

" I am going back to college at once," said Mark. " Father 
desires it. Of course I shall come over at Christmas and help 
you, as usual, with your tree." 

" Of course you will. I have some new ideas — good, I think 
— ^for the tree. Mark, I hope you like college better than you 
did at first." 

The lad, who had turned beside her, pacing up the church- 
yard path agaiuj took a few great strides without replying. 


Then he answered, in the sort of voice that comes to men when 
they utter words they are longing not to speak. 

« I loathe it." 

The stupid crow, on his seat of desolation, laughed. 

" Look here, Dorothea 1 you're a girl, and a good girl — Oh, 
yoa know I can't pay compliments ! — ^what's the use of talking 
to you about young men's lives ? You need hear nothing about 
them, God be thanked I I'm not better than others, God knows, 
only — only — ^I suppose I'm different. I loathe the whole stupid 
life at the University. And I'm going back: that's enough." 
He threw up his head and bit his lips : his keen profile — cut like 
Schiller's — stood out against the sallow air. 

For full ten seconds she walked beside him. Then she said 
softly: "Can't I help you — somehow — ^Mark, without your 
telling? We've known each other all our lives, and I've pulled 
out a lot of thorns for you, and splinters, formerly." 

He threw up his head no more, but still he bit his lips. And 
he coughed, that straining cough of his, which all who were fond 
of him dreaded to hear. 

" You always said that neither of your sisters could pull out 
a thorn, like I did. And you know, you were that sort of boy, 
Mark : you were always getting thorns into you somewhere." 

" Some people do," said Mark, laughing quite happily. 
" They're made that way." 

"It's the people who want to pick roses," replied Dorothea 
quickly. "Many are quite content to leave roses, and thorns, 

" I fear I got my thorns breaking through hedges." 

"Well, I suppose that is some people's mission, to break 
through hedges and get hurt." 

"Stealing apples?" 

" Mark, please, I have quite come to the end of my metaphor. 
But I don't believe you ever stole an apple. However, being 
always happy myself, I should like to see you happy? And I 
have my doubts." 

"I wanted to be off to the Colonies," he began suddenly, 
" I fancy I should have made my way. Oh, in anything — ^not 
business — ^teaching, for instance — travelling. I can live on six- 
pence a day. But it's not to be. I'm to stay at home and become 
a parson, here at Brodryck, some day, like father. Poor old 
father cried. Don't look at me like that, Dorothea. I couldn't 
help it. You see that you wouldn't understand." 

" Oh, Mark, I'm sure I'm not looking ' like that.' " 


" ' If only I live long enough to see that day! ' says father, 
*Lord, then lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peacel'" He 
stopped in the middle of the path. " Well, what could I do ? " 
he said. " Of course the servant has got to depart in peace.'' 


The tears stood in his eyes. " If I didn't love the dear old 
dad with all my heart and soul," he said, " do you think I would 
sacrifice my life like this? It's worse, ten times worse, than 
dying, to consent to live a lie. I shouldn't have come out to you : 
I'm not fit. I haven't slept for two nights. If only he'd let me 
go out as a missionary I don't think I should mind sp much. 
Of course the lie'd be the same, but I should think it sounds 
different out there. To stop here, to go on, all your easy life, 
preaching to baptized Christians a religion of which they never, 
in practice, make true a single word. Lightly preaching down 
condemnation upon yourself and them I " 

" But, Mark, if we seek to believe ? ^" 

^* In what ? In the Christianity of a Christian University, 
of Christian Undergraduates, Christian Professors? In the 
Christianity of a Christian Church, Christian clergy and com- 
municants: a Christian Society, a Christian State? Oh, Doro- 
thea ! there is no escape from the dilemma : either Christendom 
is a lie, or Christ." For a moment his frail figure trembled. 
" You mustn't mind," he added more calmly. " Indeed I should 
not have come out. In a couple of hours I am going back to 
Leyden — ^to continue the study of Divinity. There it stands, 
all the world over, the Christian college, with its smug profes- 
sors, its dirty disciples. I am going back : that is enough — good- 
bye." He held her hand in his, as they lingered, the young 
pair of them, beside the marble cross. 

" The pure in heart I " he murmured, and his eyes rested 
gently upon his companion's troubled face. " Why Dorothea," 
he added brightly, " there's not a year's difference between you 
and me." And he suddenly dropped the hand. 

"ITo," replied Dorothea. "Do you not think, dear Mark, 
that both you and I might wait a bit before definitely making 
up our minds about this wicked world ? " 

" Oh, a woman ! " he answered impatiently. " Her life just 
comes to her ! She needn't make up her mind at all I " 

" By the tone of your voice one would almost conclude that 
you think she has none to make up ? " 

" You know better, Dorothea. But look at your own case. 
Your life all comes to you naturally, as it should. You'll stop 


in this place until — ^perhaps you'll always stop here. While I — 
I have to decide my whole future to-day." 

She gazed across the dear, bleak landscape, the brown old 
village church, the fields, the leafless beeches. " That is true," 
she said; "our lives are simpler. Sometimes I think mine is 
shockingly simple and happy. I am almost ashamed. Still, I 
am not a sort of inverted Job, Mark, from whom God has told 
the Devil to keep always away." She followed the downcast 
gaze of his eyes, and, fancying she read his thoughts, " It does 
seem a pity," she said, " to bring such fragile blossoms here to 
die. I have often told the gardener to give me others, but he 
always selects his best." 

" The strongest would last an hour longer," he answered. 
"If these felt anything, they would rejoice in such special 
service and speedy death. Surely it is better than any hot- 
house existence to do something quickly and die ! " 

"Mark," she said, "you have left me behind you — in the 
hot-house. You are twice as old as you were six months ago." 

"Just now you informed me I was too young, Dorothea. 
Like a woman you are inconsistent, and right. I'm too young 
at this moment, and too old. But, Oh, Dorothea, when a man 
is just fresh from my yesterday's experience, when he's been 
taking up his whole little life — ^all he's got — ^into his hands, and 
looking at it — dreaming of what he might do with it — wings, 
far away flights, balloons! — ^and when he has just put it down 
again into the heavy cart between the clogging ruts, all splash- 
ing and straining — gee up! — Oh, Dorothea, if he happens on 
his best friend at that moment — and she a woman ! — ^he may be 
forgiven if he turn a bit melodramatic, for a change." 

" I do not think you are melodramatic, Mark." 

" Well, I'm good again now, please. Quite good. Melodrama 
would ill suit the future dominie of Brodryck." 

" Once you seemed to like the idea of your life-task." 

" I don't think so. I endured it. My year in the big world 
has changed me. If ever you get outside ^" 


"You never will. Here we are at the gate again. What 
an aimless walk we have had — ^to and fro. You might have 
been home by this time. Goodbye till Christmas. Goodbye." 
He turned, on the other side of the little wicket. " If this frost 
holds," he added, " we shall have some splendid skating ! " His 
eyes kindled suddenly with coming delights. It was thus she 
remembered him afterwards ; and she remembered her reply : 


'^If the frost holds^ Mark, we must take that long-planned 
trip along the Rhine." 

As he strode down the laurel-walk, he meditatively pulled at 
the bushes. ' Thank God she doesn't care,'' he said to himself, 
but his tone was far from grateful. 

Dorothea, meanwhile, hurried home through the park, back 
to her own small garden entrance* Even now the hour was still 
very early, barely half -past eight* The sun had turned to a 
flaming golden red, upon a pearly pedestaL Trillions of tiny 
diamonds sparkled on every inch of ground, on every twig and 
every breath of air. The glittering snow about her feet broke 
in prismatic glories, a very path of diamonds. A flight of 
pigeons — ^her own— wheeled, whirring down across a glaucous 
break of moss. 

The flaxen children at the cottage stood in a bobbing row. 
"We felicitate the noble young lady I" they said, or that, at 
least should have been the burden of their tuneless murmur. 
She nodded to each one of them. " Are you coming up to say 
your verses?" she asked* Each was a special friend of hers, 
even the one with the unwiped nose. Every face, every bush, 
every curve of the path was faiHiliar. That gaitered old gentle- 
man plodding up the avenue, with the two brown setters behind 
him, was uncle Tony. 

He heard the brisk crunch of her footsteps and turned to 
wait. A hale old gentleman, white-haired and clean shaven, 
with the flesh-tints of a farmer and the features of a Bourbon. 
Not really an uncle of Dorothea's, her mother's cousin, but too 
near a friend and neighbor not long ago to have merited the 
dearer appellation. Uncle Tony was supposed to have broken 
his healthy heart, years ago, for aunt Emma, who had suffered 
so much herself, as all knew, from the fickleness of Man. The 
fable, and joke, of his constancy had grown with the whitening 
of his hairs. He now frequently proposed to her in public, and 
neither the lady nor her suitor had ever been quite certain in 
how far he at one time may haVe meant what he said. The 
suitor always declared, as in chivalry bound, that he had found 
the lady adamant. " And if I've gone to the dogs," he would 
add, " it's Emma alone that's to blattie.^^ The dogs in question 
were "Em" and "Doll," the two setters, sole ornaments, he 
averred, of his heart and home. He solemnly made these state- 
ments in the very loud voice which was part of his character, 
but affords no proof of his sincerity. Then he would potter 
aoross to the couple of expectant quadrupeds and gently stroke 


them down the nose. "Two old Irish setters/' he would say, 
his protuberant eyes fixed full on their responsive ones, and 
perhaps the dogs would slowly move their beautiful auburn tails. 
" Old they may be," shouted uncle Tony, " I'm not denying it : 
they'll be thirteen, the pair of them, come next Michaelmas — 
God willing I " interjected uncle Tony, with a sudden hush of 
reverence — ^^'but there's not a better brute than Em or Doll,, 
for their sort of work, in all the province — in all the blessed 
kingdom ! " The chandelier rang. 

" You shouldn't swear," said aunt Mary softly. 

"H'm, h'm, you are right, my dear. A man should be a 
saint to live with so good a woman as you, Mary. And, oh dear 
me I " Uncle Tony sat down, slapped his thigh, and intro- 
spectively shook his head. " God bless my soul," said uncle 

" Em " crept forward, pushing her sympathetic nose into 
her master's palm. The firelight filled with radiance the russet 
splendors of her coat. 

" She's a handsomer ornament to your hearth, Antony, than 
ever I could have been," remarked Emma, who always made a 
point of giving her cousin his full baptismal name. And she 
sighed for thought of that other man who had brought her occa- 
sional flowers, and married (she declared) her ugliest friend. 

"Well — you'd have been more talkative, Emma. Not but 
that the dogs have plenty to tell me, God knows." 

" Again I " remonstrated aunt Mary, and held up a finger in 
tender reproof. 

"My dear, you are right," said the old gentleman affably. 
"But when a man has a poor conception of his own judg- 
ment, it comes so handy to appeal to a higher I " His auditors 
could not help smiling. For uncle Tony was a self -developed 
philosopher, an authority on all matters agricultural, products 
and prices, and an indefatigable Nimrod. He had named the 
two promising pups after two of the creatures he most heartily 
admired in a world that was full of disappointments and petty 
impurities : poaching, adulterated butter, tinned pork, American 

" I am sorry there isn't one left for you, Mary," he had said, 
as he stood peering at the litter, his elder cousin by his side. 

" Thank you, Tony." 

" I had made up my mind to have you all." 

"It can't be helped," said Mary. 

"You see, the third has got the distemper. You wouldn't 


like to have a dog called after you that had got the distemper, 

"I don't know," answered Mary dubiously, for her heart 
went out with ready sympathy to the poor little invalid, blind 
and dead-sick, in his straw at the lodge. 

Uncle Tony stared at her till his surprise found vent in a 
whistle. " Well ! " he said, " there's no accounting for tastes. 
Besides, Mary, I — somehow, I think, you're too good to have a 
dog called after you." And he walked away, coughing very loud. 

It was this good-natured and testy, this philosophic and 
irrational, old gentleman who greeted Dorothea. 

" Up so early ? Is this in honor of me, uncle Tony ? " 

" My dear, the honor is mine." He swept his brown velveteen 
cap to the ground. Uncle Tony's etiquette was that of the 
monarchs he facially resembled. " It had to be early or not at 
alL Business of yours, Dorothea, as usual. A sale of timber. 
In the Holtham woods. It will keep me occupied all day." He 
sighed, with visible satisfaction. 

" Have I so much business, uncle Tony? All your life seems 
to go, poor dear, in this endless business of mine." 

" It can't be helped, my child : there's nobody else to take 
the weight off my shoulders." Uncle Tony fairly laughed with 
delight. " You can't keep from taking up what comes to your 
hand, you know, as Tim the Poacher answered when I found 
him making off with my pheasant, that had fallen on his side 
of the hedga" 

" And I who am so ungrateful ! When I saw you up already, 
I said to myself: Uncle Tony would never get up so early, 
unless to go shooting hares I " 

" Do people shoot hares in the snow ? Dorothea, you have 
no sporting instincts! I have always deemed that a calamity 
in one who" — ^uncle Tony's voice grew impressive — ^*'will one 
day possess, God willing, the finest snipe-shooting in this prov- 
ince." He paused and gazed sadly at his ward. The dogs gazed 
too : their faces were the more reproachful. 

" When I am mistress of Brodryck," replied Dorothea with 
great decision, " not a shot sh:.ll fall on the estate." 

Uncle Tony's sad expression broke into a rude grin. " And 
your husband, my dear ? " he said. " How about the corn-fields ? 
And the orchards? Come, take my arm, O patroness of poach- 
ers I I hope to be invited, Dorothea, many a time, by — ^him." 

" Uncle Tony, you are very wicked." 


"Comparatively — ^yes," replied the old gentleman compla- 

" And because you are wicked, there is something I want to 
ask you. Now, please, uncle Tony, be very serious. You have 
seen the world, is it — ^very bad ? " 

" Most certainly not," replied Tony with vehemence. " Are 
your aunts bad ? Am I ? — ^whew, I forgot I " 

" Please, uncle Tony, I want you to be serious. You know 
the world; I don't." The old man smiled. " When you were at 
Leyden in your youth, was life there very horrid ? " 

" Horrid ? " The old man's voice rang out across the sum- 
mits of the trees. Then it grew suddenly gentle. " Oh, Doro- 
thea I " he said, " none of us can be young more than once." He 
walked on gazing in front of him. 

" But afterwards, then," she persisted. " The big world — 
the — ^you know very well what I mean," she impatiently slapped 
his arm, " is it the sort of thing one loathes ? " He bent to catch 
the whispered word. 

"Now this is parsons' stuff," said uncle Tony. "You're 
fresh from the parson, child. The whole world lieth in wicked- 
ness. Rubbish I " 

" Oh, uncle, that's a Bible text I " 

Uncle Tony stared, aghast. " Well, they must have got the 
translation wrong," he said at last, " or we've greatly improved 
since Bible times. That's it, of course," he added, greatly re- 
lieved. "And no wonder, after eighteen centuries of the true 
religion. Depend on it, child, the world's all right to-day." 

" Uncle Tony, I don't believe you know." 

The old gentleman bridled: "I know plenty,^ he said, "a 
great deal more than you ever will. I'm not denying there's a 
certain amount of evil. All I say is, there's far more good. It 
just depends which side one looks. A man naturally turns both 
ways, but the woman who discovers the world is had must have 
found it out for herself, dear." 

" And if a man opens the shutters for her on the bad side, 

" God forgive him and have mercy on her," said Uncle Tony. 
After that they walked on to the house in silence. " Farewell, 
my dear," said uncle Tony, " I've no time to go in. Enjoy your 
birthday. I must drive seven miles in the cold." 

He turned back, abusing the ill-luck which had altered the 
day of the sale. Everything in his life, he knew, invariably fell 
awry. He had start^ upside-down, he said, for his romantic 


mother, fresh from that endless old novel "Cleopatre," had 
lushed to call her son " Mark Antony," and his practical father, 
mindful of rich uncle Antony in Amsterdam, had accepted the 
two names only, as they now stood, absurdly inverted. The 
Amsterdam uncle, dying, had left Antony Mark a bundle of 
American confederate securities: that, also, surely was a big 
upset. And all his love affairs with Cousin Emma, of which 
neither could ever unravel the meaning : these also were only a 
tangled skein. The whole of his life turned topsy-turvy. In 
spite of the numerous misfortunes to which he enjoyed frequent 
and pathetic allusion, his health remained excellent: he thor- 
oughly delighted in his dinner and his shooting: he endured a 
rather terrible maid, of whom later, with equanimity — ^in f acty 
he was far happier than he felt that he need have been. His 
philosophy also, whenever he considered it his duty to deny 
things, had an unreasonable habit, perhaps not unusual, of 
twisting right side up I 


Dorothea entered the house. Ever since her birth, her 
mother's death, her father's departure, she had lived, as an 
orphan, with the aunts, who were her dead mother's step-sisters, 
in the roomy, green-trellised, whitewashed dwelling that her 
grandfather had built for his step-daughters. This sunshiny 
residence stood on the confines of the park, whose statelier man- 
sion would one day open lofty doors to welcome the youthful 
heiress. Dorothea knew the big, desolate house was hers, but 
of wealth, and its meaning, she knew nothing. 

She parsed now into the hall of "Rose Villa" and imme- 
diately paused, in dismay. For the first time in nearly a dozen 
years the two aunts had not run out to greet her. One of them 
must surely be ill? — ^yet neither had ever been known to keep 
her room before, though aunt Emma, if you believed her, en- 
dured frequent smiling martyrdoms with a fortitude only 
equalled by the Spartan hero of the fox. " Bonjour I " shrieked 
aunt Emma's parrot in the unaccustomed silence, and, getting 
no answer, he yelled the one word without ceasing, according to 
his parroty wont. " Bonjour, Bonjour, Bob," replied Dorothea, 
"I am just a spoilt child, like you." But his cries sounded 
horribly shrill in this inexplicable birthday silence, and she 
hastily opened the dining-room door. 

The light, many-windowed apartment wore its expected air 
of festivity, gay with flowers and greenery about Dorothea's 
familiar seat. And both aunts were there also, God bless them ! 
— they sat, each on her side of the fireplace, immovable in her 
special uneasy easy-chair. They sat, watching Dorothea enter, 
silent, their fiushed faces marked with deepest dejection. Pres- 
ently they both smiled, but that was useless. Cats lay about 
everywhere, as usual : a bulging black one dozed in aunt Emma's 
lap, and, whenever the lady's feelings got too much for her, she 
rumpled its hair, and its purring stopped. Aunt Mary had a 
book of family devotions on her knees, and a Bible : with a hahd 
that grasped firmly an open letter, she rustled the pages of these 



books to and fro, pretending to look out the portions for the 

" Mary ! " said aunt Emma^ in shrill accents, very unlike 
her habitual murmur of chastened regret. 

" Yes, Emma dear," replied aunt Mary more calmly, sud- 
denly engrossed in the finding, for the third time, of the seventh 
of St. John. 

" Dorothea has come in I " 

" Yes, I see her." Aunt Mary's eyes rose over their specta- 
cles. " My dear child, we have something we wish to tell you. 
Your aunt Emma feels " 

" I ! " exclaimed Emma, indignantly rising, and dropping 
her cat. " Feels ! " she snifFed scornfully, and sat down again 
on the quadruped, who had slipped up, behind, on her chair. 

" I was going to say you preferred me to speak," continued 
aunt Mary mildly. "Dear Dorothea, we know it is our 
duty ^" 

" To congratulate you heartily on your birthday," inter- 
rupted aunt Emma, resuming her tabby, " and to wish you many 
happy — oh, far happier ! — ^returns of the day." She began strok- 
ing vigorously. > 

"To congratulate you, oh, most certainly," continued aunt 
Mary, in a curious voice, "but I think we had better tell 
you " 

" Oh, Mary, one day more I " pleaded Emma. 

Dorothea had drawn near; aunt Mary's books slipped down 
from her trembling hold and fell with a thud on the floor. " Oh 
dear, oh dear I " lamented aunt Mary, " to think that I've 
dropi)ed the blessed Bible ! " Dorothea hastily helped her to 
pick up the volume. 

"Please, might I know at once what is wrong?" said the 

"Wrong, my child?" exclaimed Emma. "Why, it's your 
birthday ! We're all very happy I " She burst into tears. 

" Emma," said aunt Mary reproachfully. " What did we 
promise each other just now, when we left off? " 

" If you cared as much as I do, you couldn't have left off," 
sobbed Emma. " There, my dear, there ; I know it's not true. 
Dorothea, always remember, when you've forgotten us, that aunt 
Mary was an angel bom, and I but a poor, weak human, that 
needed a lot of love." 

" Aunt Mary, tell me quick," said Dorothea, in white dismay. 

Aunt Mary rose up, very hard and stiff. " My dear, you are 


right," she said, **our behavior is cruel, and foolish. Forgive 
us. The first post has brought us a letter from your father. 
He has timed it wonderfully wfelL" 

"He was always so clever about that," answered Dorothea 
nervously, " even about sending his presents from Africa ^" 

"His present this year ^* began Emma bitterly. 

" Oh, Dorothea," cried Mary, " he wants you back." 

" Back I " repeated Dorothea. Her eyes sank swiftly to the 
carpet. " I do not even know him," she said. 

"But you know a great deal about him. We have always 
been careful about that. It will not be like going to a stranger. 
You love him I " insisted aunt Mary rapidly. 

The girl did not lift her eyes. " You have told me what little 
you could, I suppose," she said. " Why, you hardly know him 

They were all silent for a moment. Tib, the white kitten, 
in aunt Mary's chair, made a great noise licking herself. 

Then Dorothea looked up. "Yes, you have taught me to 
love him," she said, with slow conscientiousness. " Of course 
I shall be glad to make my father's acquaintance. And then I 
shall come back here." 

" No, he will never let you come back," sobbed Emma. 

Aunt Mary took her niece's hand. "Who knows?" said 
aunt Mary wistfully. 

"It would never be the same," replied Emma." " Oh, far 
better not to come back ! " She put up her pocket-handkerchief. 

Aunt Mary pressed the hand she held. " When your mother 
died," she said, " Just twenty-one years ago this very morning, 
your English father was broken-hearted." She turned almost 
angrily on Emma. " Was broken-hearted ! " she repeated, rais- 
ing her voice. 

" I never denied it," said Emma. 

" He had loved our sister dearly," continued Mary, staring 
very hard at Emma's face. 

"Oh, certainly," assented Emma. "Oh, of course." She 
sat noisily smoothing her gown. The aunts always came 
down to breakfast on Dorothea's birthday in their second-best 
Sunday silks. 

" Intensely," insisted Mary. 

" As men go," said Emma. 

" Passionately ! " cried Mary. 

" Indeed ? I have no experience of such matters," retorted 
Emma. " Have you ? " 


Glentle aunt Mary colored. "He volunteered immediately 
for active service in India. Afterwards he went to Africa. He 
has fought in many battles, under various flags. Meanwhile 
he left you with us. Naturally. His was a soldicr^s existence. 
He is very brave." 

" With masculine bravery I " cried Emma. 

" He is now, as you know, a colonel. His breast is covered 
with medals. Once or twice he has paid flying visits to London 
or Paris in the course of his " 

"Adventurous," suggested Emma. 

" Career," cried aunt Mary. " On these occasions it was 

deemed most expedient by all of us ^" She looked across at 

her sister. 

" Oh, you needn't appeal to me," exclaimed Emma, ruffled. 
" I agree beforehand with each word you may say." 

" That the tranquillity of your life here should not be dis- 
turbed by a meeting which could only have lasted an hour or 
two at most, and might easily have left but erroneous impres- 
sions. Still, it was always understood that, as soon as your 
father should settle in Europe ^" 

"Just so — settle — settle," cried aunt Emma, fanning her- 
self with Tab's tail. 

" You would go to him. You have always known that, Doro- 
thea. I suppose we have known it. He says we had fixed the 
age of twenty-one. I cannot remember that. Why twenty-one ? 
I fear we had built almost sinful hojpes on his never settling 

" 'Not has he settled down ! " declared Emma with vehemence. 
"Dorothea, instantly say that you have been happy with us." 

Dorothea gazed from one dear creature to the other, and 
back again. 

" But you love your father," insisted aunt Mary. " See how 
kindly he writes." She held out the letter, taking it from where 
it lay crunched by her little black bag. 

" ' My dear Mademoiselle de Torby.' " 

" Cold," said aunt Emma. 

"Correct," said aunt Mary. "Why, we barely know him, 

"Enough to praise him, it appears I" viciously responded 

Mary went and put her arm around her sister's neck. " Do 
not let us destroy in a moment the work of a lifetime," she 


Meanwhile Dorothea read the Colonel's letter aloud : " * On 
the thirteenth of December next Dorothea will attain the ^e of 
twenty-one. I think you will bear me out that, according to 
our original arrangement, the time has now come for her to 
join her father. I am growing old, and my travelling days are 
well-nigh over ^ " 

" That's America, he means, not Heaven I " interrupted aunt 
Emma, wildly. 

"'I am greatly pleased at the thought of my daughter's 
companionship, and have been waiting impatiently for this all- 
important day to arrive. Never shall I be able to thank you 
and your sister sufficiently for all you have been to my mother- 
less bairn ' " 

" We must look up that word in the dictionary," interpolated 

" Ah me, it explains itself," sighed Mary. 

" ^ I am going to spend a few months on the Riviera. There 
could be no better place, as it seems to me, for an exi>eriment 
which, if successful (and doubtless it will be), must develop into 
a permanent re-union.' " 

"He calls it a re-union," said Emma. 

" ' I have been putting ofF writing day by day, in hopes that 
you would broach the difficult subject; yet, on the other hand, 
I can well understand your preferring me to begin, lest it should 
look as if you wanted to get rid of my girl.' " 

" Yes, he says that," gasped aunt Mary. 

"'But, in any case, I have now delayed too long. I shall 
put off my departure, at considerable inconvenience, as I pre- 
sume you may desire Dorothea to spend this last birthday at 
Brodryck. Would it suit you, if she joined me in Paris two 
days later? I shall write further as soon as I have heard from 

you ^ " Dorothea paused and took up the envelope from the 


" This was written very nearly a month ago," she said. " It 
has been to a Utrecht in New England — look I " 

" It ought to have stayed there," cried Emma. 

"Now that explains everything," said Mary, wiping her 
misty spectacles. " Your father forgot to put ' Holland.' " And 
Mary contentedly shook her head. She did not much mind the 
discovery that people had been careless, or stupid, or even incon- 
siderate. These things were natural. What she disliked was to 
learn that any one on earth could be cruel, or wicked, or unkind. 

"It explains nothing at all," said aunt Emma. "Explain 


it away! Explain it away to America! Make that thing 
yonder" — she pointed to the paper in Dorothea's hand — ^''van* 
ish, disappear, get itself read by some i)er8on it belongs to in 
New England I Pish I Send it back to New York I " 

The clock struck nine. At the first stroke aunt Maiy started. 
"The servants will be. waiting for prayers," she said. 

" Prayers? Is this a time for prayers? " cried Emma. 

"Indeed it is," answered aunt Mary gravely. She walked 
to the window and stood looking out. When she turned, her 
face was very serene. " Call them in, Dorothea, please," she 
said ; and she read the simple service through, with only a falter 
here and there. 

"In all time of our tribidation, in all time of our joy, do 
Thou remember us. Lord 1 " 

After the auditory had filed from the room again, the sacred 
words still seemed to linger on the air. They brought a troubled 
calm with them, as of waves that are sinking to rest. 

" Dorothea, dear, look at your presents," suggested aunt 
Mary. But Dorothea, sinking her face on the hand which still 
held the letter, gave way to a fit of weeping that shook her from 
head to foot. She crept away to her own chamber. " Bonjour I 
Bon jour ! " called the parrot along the passage. The words 
followed her like a farewell. 

Aunt Emma flung herself straight into aunt Mary's arms. 
" Oh, Mary, you love her as much as I do I More, if possible, but 
it isn't possible I We can't live without her. Our lives '11 be as 
empty as that envelope she's dropped on the floor I " 

" Cheer up, Emma," expostulated Mary firmly, " there'll al- 
ways be the missionaries in New Guinea I And I do hope they'll 
have a great many converts. Then, perhaps, we sha'n't mind 
so much ! " 

" Missionaries I " cried Emma, " what are missionaries ? — 
great hulking, lazy fellows that do nothing at all I How many 
missionaries aren't there in South Africa, and not one of them's 
ever converted the Colonel I " 

Caspar now considered it his duty to cough a second time. 
Perhaps the cough was partially needed to cover a squeak of 
surprise. For Caspar had learned much from his mistresses' 
lips without their knowing it, but his cecret, and doubtless erro- 
neous, opinion of parasite preachers, he had always believed to 
be entirely his own discovery. Personally, he did not object to 
callers in tall hats and chokers. Being a clever young man, he 
had organized a snug little commission agency in connection 


with these charity-mongers. First, there was an entrance fee 
(with a converse " N'ot at home ")> and further you paid a per- 
centage on subscriptions, progressive according to Caspar's dis- 
creet advocacy of your cause. 

His father, after forty years of service, had retired on a 
pension, rum, and stories of the dead. To all the paternal privi- 
leges and dodges the son had succeeded, with power to add to 
their nimiber, and he thus occupied, in his cheerful youth, the 
situation of an old retainer, which is well known to be as weighty 
for the possessor as it is burdensome to the — possessed. Nature 
and a closely cropped head of black hair had conferred on this 
healthy young man the boon of a delicate appearance, and the 
village doctor had done him the kindness of ascribing his baby 
sister's death to consumption, instead of measles. It is not in 
human nature to supprrss an occasional tickle in your throat, 
when the tickle calls for doses — alas, homoeopathic, but persist- 
ent as the tickle — of port wine. 

" Caspar, do not stand in the draught ! " said aunt Mary. 

" How often have we told you not to wait by the door I " 
added Emma, her tartness not entirely ascribable to care of the 
cough. " I shall make you some more of your medicine at once." 
And she moved to the old-fashioned cabinet, in which she kept 
her new-fanglec^ pills. 

" It was Miss Mary's herb-tea cured me," replied the servant, 
with ready spite. The herb-tea needed a touch of brandy in it. 

"You shall have a big bowl to-night," declared Miss Mary 
beaming, for Miss Emma's minuscule, three-syllable grains, and 
Miss Mary's Kneipp concoctions did battle over the bodies of 
their various dependents, just as Miss Mary's tracts and Miss 
Emma's story-books contended for their souls. On these points, 
their sole possible danger of disagreement, so acute a rivalry 
existed between the sisters that many a villager, only too eager 
to get profitably converted, found himself in a quandry, how to 
satisfy both. 

" The people are Waiting downstairs," said Caspar, his eyes 
at rest. It was annoying, of course, not to know everything at 
once, but some secrets required time. 

"We will come in five minutes," replied Dorothea's voice, 
and she closed the door upon, his retreating figure. 

" Don't, aunt Enuna, please ; I don't want to cry any more," 
she said. " If I am to go to Paris it is much better I should 
have to leave at once." 


" Take a cup of tea," said aunt Mary, pouring it out. " We 
must send for uncle Tony." 

"Uncle Tony is away for the day!" exclaimed Dorothea, 
whereupon aunt Emma pointed out that the worst misfortunes 
always hefall us last. "Antony would have put everything- 
right," she said, " for Antony is the wisest of men." 

"Thomas must ride after him," suggested aunt Mary. 
"iN'one of them will want to miss Dorothea's reception, but 
Thomas is the youngest : he has been with us only seven years." 

" What can uncle Tony do? " asked Dorothea helplessly, and 
they went down to meet the little concourse of retainers who 
stood waiting, as usual, anxious to be received, and to receive. 

The picturesque group of the i>easants, in the quaintest of 
dresses, much black and much muslin, with a little dull gold 
here and there, some bright coral, a flaring silk neckerchief; 
the whole crowd smart, stiff, red and pink, scrubbed and shiny; 
the children, tight-fitted manikins in miniature, with great 
wooden shoes, crimson cheeks and blue eyes, like Delft saucers ; 
the big mothers redolent of cleanliness, living symbols of soap : 
the fathers stolid, awkward, self-conscious — ^the crisp simshine 
played pleasantly about all these, as they stood in the cheerful 
snow. Yet all the variegated colors of these fifty chequered 
friendships seemed suddenly in Dorothea's eyes to have been 
wiped away by a storm-cloud of uniform grey, and the sympathy 
she felt for" their humble joys and sorrows was already an unreal 
sentiment that belonged to somebody else. What did it matter 
to her that Joopie, the milkmaid's brother, had got that job in 
the garden at last ? " He's to come on New Year's day," said 
Betsy, pouring forth pailf uls of gratitude, '* and whenever you'll 
eat the new taters, Freule, they'll taste of our grateful hearts." 
What did it matter to her that the stableman's naughty Moppie 
was coming to Sunday School ? " She's promised to be good," 
said Moppie's eager parent, pushing her daughter forward, " and 
her father has promised to beat her each time she don't learn 
her text. It took me a long time to make him promise, but at 
last he said he'd do it for love of you. Men have no religion, 
Freule." Dorothea looked from one smiling face to another. 
" You tell them, aunt Emma, I can't," she said, and ran half- 
way up the stairs. Then she peered over the banisters and saw 
them standing there, by the open door, the poor gentle, timid 
ladies with their kindly faces and' kindly curls — ^aunt Emma 
rosy and coffee-colored, aunt Mary sallow and grey — standing 
there half -distraught, always a little afraid of the people they 


ruled, and were ruled by — and with resolute step she came down 
again into the basement-hall. 

"Friends, I am going away," she said, "for a long time, 
probably. I am going to my father." 

The most satisfactory Sunday School child, the head of her 
class, lame Jenny, whose sickness had rendered reflective, im- 
mediately understood these last words to indicate the Freule's 
approaching dissolution, and brake into a heart-rending howl. 

"I shall spend Christmas," continued Dorothea hastily, 
" with my father. Colonel Sandring." 

A lubberly boy, contemplatively sucking an orange, surprised 
his surroundings by dropping the fruit and howling still louder 
than Jenny. 

"Poor child, he does love the Freule so!" explained his 
buxom mother. Murmurs arose on every side, for all present 
loved the Freule. The house servants held aloof, aggrieved at 
not having been told before the laborers were. "/ knew last 
week," declared Caspar. 

" Tommie's crying 'cos he thinks he won't get his Christmas 
toys," piped a shrill child's voice, and Tommie's little sister 
edged herself forwards. Her mother slapped her hastily aside. 

" Boo-hoo-hoo, Christmas toys," repeated Tommie, and Tot- 
tie grinned amidst her tears. 

"You will get your presents all the same," said Dorothea; 
but, to do them justice, they found little comfort in that fact. 
Consternation had fallen upon all. As they straggled away, in 
groups, they discoursed of this Colonel Sandring, a myth to the 
few that had heard of him, now suddenly grown a personal 
enemy of all. 

Meanwhile, aunt Emma enthusiastically welcomed uncle 
Tony — " although, of course, you can do no good," she said. 

Uncle Tony marched straight to the hearthrug, his two 
dogs trailing after him. 

" So your father wants you back," said uncle Tony. " You 
are twenty-one to-day, my dear, and your father wants you 
back." He smiled, blew his nose with a great crimson hand- 
kerchief, and nodded to " Em." " Doll," seeing this, scratched 
his calf with a jealous paw. 

" But why twenty-one ? " cried the aunts together. 

"Why, indeed?" asked uncle Tony. "What'U you bet me, 
my dears, that we'll have her back before she is twenty-two ? " 

" The Lord is mighty ! " said Mary, and " A box of cigars," 
said Emma. 


"Make it a wedding ring," suggested Tony. 

" We have telegraphed, asking for delay," put in Dorothea. 

" Well, you needn't have sent for me, then. This little dis- 
turbance means a loss of several hundreds to the property, but 
women never have any idea of business." Uncle Tony walked 
to the window and looked out, caged. " There is the telegraph 
boy," he said. Dorothea slipped away. 

" Tony, you love mon^y," said aunt Mary. 

" I deny it. He loves business," cried Emma. 

" I love money," answered Tony calmly, " for other people's 
sake. Dorothea's, for instance. Certainly not for Colonel Lewis 
Foye Sandring, Chevalier of twenty orders, that of industry, 
ever accorded the idle, among the rest." 

"You do him flagrant injustice!" cried Mary, "a dozen 
scars ^" 

"And a hundred stains," said uncle Tony, shrugging his 
shoulders. "Here is the telegram. Well Dorothea, what does 
your father say?" 

" * Regret further delay quite impossible,' " read Dorothea. 
"**Had written twice. Sleeper paid for. Can still get Doro- 
thea one. Wire immediately. Grand Hotel, Paris. Else could 
easily follow with maid to Nice. But why not come directly? 
Clothes Nice. Loving father.' " 

"I coidd put that in fewer words, I am sure," said aunt 

" Even * loving father ' ? " asked Tony. But Emma did not 
answer, busy with her pencil on the telegram, for economy in 
others was a favorite subject with Emma. 

" Tony dear, you will have to take her south ? " suggested 
aunt Mary faintly. 

The old gentleman gave such a bound that he nearly upset 
into the fire. " I've never left the country in my life," he cried, 
"I've never even ventured to Carlsbad, though the doctor de- 
clares I shall die unless I go! Business is business, Mary. I 
can't desert the property ! " 

" I had better start to-morrow," interposed Dorothea. 

" Brave girl ! Look here, I'll give you Rebecca." 

" Your treasure ! " exclaimed Emma. " Antony, if you send 
away Rebecca, I shall have to come and keep house for you 

" Done ! " replied uncle Tony laughing. 

Aunt Mary sat in contemplation of masculine goodness* 
" Rebecca ! " she repeated. 


" I also can rise to heights of sacrifice," added aunt Emma, 
but her suitor pretended not to hear. 

" The trip will do the child a heap of good," he continued. 
" And, mark my words, we shall have her back with the birds in 

" Vl\ marry you on the day of her return," said Emma. 

"You will make me the happiest of mortals, my dear; but 
allow me to point out that Kebecca will then also be home 

All the way back to his house, on the solitary high road, 
uncle Tony walked doing interminable sums in his head. Big 
bursts of money rang, like gunshots, across the wintry air. 
" Twenty-five thousand I " he shouted, as he opened, his gate. 
" Twenty I " he added, with conviction, as he fumbled with his 
latchkey at the door. In the hall, however, hearing Rebecca's 
familiar bark, he burst out laughing. Rebecca's cough was 
purely a bad habit, though she knew better : it was lungs. Uncle 
Tony yet chuckled in his armchair when the handmaid brought 
him his slippers, and something warmer still. 

" Cough bad to-day ? " asked the wily master. 

" God made the weather," replied the guileless maid. Her 
tone certainly indicated disapproval of some one. She was a 
harsh-featured, fresh-colored Dissenter, of plenteous utterance 
anent religion, especially the want of it in others. Her elder 
sister Sarah, who never coughed, had accompanied a sick mis- 
tress two winters ago, to the land of oranges and lemons, and 
since then Rebecca had lost no opportunity of lamenting, to her 
master, her own invalid lot. 

"Undoubtedly He did," replied Tony with easy alacrity. 
" Still, you know, there are climates and climates. This climate 
is horrible! " Uncle Tony shuddered, and warmed his flower- 
embroidered feet. 

" The healthy needn't mind it," retorted Rebecca, barking 
her loudest, 

" It would do that cough of yours a lot of good, Rebecca, if 
you could get such a change of air as your sister Sarah had ! " 

Rebecca sheerly snorted in her scorn. " Some people get 
all the blessings ! " she cried, " and sonie people 1" Snort. 

"Deserve them. Just so. Well, you are one of those who 
get them. You are going to start to-morrow with the Freule 
Dorothea, to spend a few weeks in the South." 

"I will never desert my dear master," said Rebecca, as soon 
as she could speak. 


** Nonsense ; Rachel can look after me." 

"Rachel I She couldn't even look after a baby, let alone 


"I can never desert my dear fatherland — ^I mean my dear 
master I " cried Rebecca, knotting and unknotting her nervous 
hands. "I can't go out alone, two defenceless females, into a 
country where Satan reigns supreme I Sarah says that in for- 
eign parts the men as soon kiss you as look at you " 

" Sooner, I should think," said uncle Tony, meditatively 
stirring his glass. 


" Look here, FU double your wages," said uncle Tony. 

Rebecca's eyes glistened. " I won't go," she said. 

" Well, of course, if you won't, you won't." 

" How long shall we stay away ? " 

" You had better allow me six weeks." 

" I'll do it," said Rebecca, " but not for thfe Wages." 

" Of course not. Do it for your health." 

" I do it for the sake of that orphan," Rebecca barked, " and 
after six weeks I can do as I like ? " 

" You can I " shouted Tony in sudden ahger. He impetu- 
ously spilt a splash of his grog. " You can stop there, if you 
like, with the ' orphan,' or — or go to the deVil I " 

" Thank you, sir; in that case I shall retUm to you," replied 
Rebecca calmly. 

Aunt Mary rose from the painfully festive dinner. " Doro- 
thea," she said, " it is time for our evening walk." Aunt Mary 
believed in constitutionals, while lively aunt Emma struggled 
fiercely with unwilling naps. Aunt Emma had read in some 
medical manual that sleep after dinner was conducive to long 
life. The writer's pen had slipped : he intended to say " before." 
Ten years later, aunt Emma, renewing her copy, found the error 

Dorothea went out with aunt Mary into the soft frost and 
gentle moonlight, softly treading the silvered snow between the 
starlit plains of earth and heaven. !N"either uttered a word, or 
gave direction to the feet which led them toward the Manor 

The deserted House of Brodryck lay, amongst its untrimmed 
gardens, about a mile from the ladies' humbler comer of the 
park. Dorothea's mother had dwelt three months in it. Since 



then it had lain deserted, mysterious with protracted solitude. 
Yet Dorothea knew its every comer, its every legend. She had 
quaked in its closets and shouted from its turrets, playing with 
the Lesters. She had stood, awe-struck, before a couple of 
hideous oil portraits and one lovely child-face. She had shaken 
frightened moths out of costly hangings, instantly bringing 
aimt Mary on the scene with charwomen and disinfectants. 
And on rare Sunday afternoons, wandering hither with auntie 
Mary, she had learnt, in the solemn room upstairs, the great 
lessons of her girlish life. 

" Yes, let us go in I '' said Dorothea softly. How still the 
night was in the calmly brilliant park! The house lay before 
them, looming grey. 

The moonlight shone full into the upstairs room, a long, low 
bedroom, dark and old-fashioned, with panelling about a par- 
tially curtained bed. 

" Come and sit beside me, on the window-sill, here in our 
comer," said aunt Mary. " Here Caspar cannot disturb us with 
' the Widow So-and-So.' " 

Dorothea nestled dovni. "Ah, that sounds like old times," 
she murmured, " and now I must answer : I've been naughty, 
auntie May, but I want to be good." 

"You are never naughty now," said aunt Mary, with a 
lingering regret in her voice. " Oh, Dorothea, the world you 
are going into I I know there is wickedness enough in Brodryck 
— still I You are so ignorant, so innocent ! I fear our education 
has been all wrong, but how could we have made it different? 
My heart is very heavy to-night." 

" You have done everything for me, and I love you dearly," 
said Dorothea in a low voice. The light of the single lantern 
played about them as they clung together in the window-seat. 

" Child, child, perhaps we have not done our duty. There 
is a confession I would like to make — ^must make, I hardly 
kno\^ how. Your father ^" Her voice broke. 

"Don't, aunt Mary," whispered Dorothea, squeezing the 
poor soul's hand till the fingers ached. " I fancied from some- 
thing aunt Emma said this morning " She fell back, with 

both arms outstretched as if to warn off an impending evil. 
" You have always taught me to honor and love him I Oh, please 
don't say anything now I " 

Aunt Mary sat reflecting. Dorothea's breath came fast. 
"You must not mistake me," said aunt Mary at last. "Your 


father and I belong to different worlds, but I have never thought 
otherwise of him than in kindness. In this room, of all places, 
I would do him no wrong." 

Dorothea sprang to her feet. "In this room in which my 
mother died," she cried, " tell me this : My father, as you have 
always told me, is a gentleman? " 


" A brave soldier? " 

" Yes, oh yes." 

" Kindly — ^manly — generous? " 

" Yes." 

" He loved my mother ? " Suddenly the girl stood still, full 
in the moonlight, in front of her aunt. 

" Oh, Dorothea, what a question to put to me I I have always 
told you he was broken-hearted, when she died." 

"I know nothing of these matters," said Dorothea slowly, 
^but it seems to me a man might not really love his wife, and 
yet be broken-hearted when she died." She flung herself into 
aunt Mary's arms. " Oh, forgive me," she said, " see, I am 
naughty already I " 

" Dorothea, the world is very evil. You are going into much 
temptation ^" 

Dorothea looked up quickly. "You must say good-bye for 
me to Mark Lester," she said. 

" I believe, dear, you are rich. Uncle Tony says not, but I 
fancy he must be mistaken. True, I know nothing of money 
matters. You are going amongst strangers. Dorothea, I fancy 
your father will want you to marry early. That was always a 
favorite idea of his. How shall I say it ? Do not make an irre- 
trievable mistake. We can make so few of those, and they last 
so long." 

Dorothea lay back, wondering. 

" You will laugh at me for speaking of marriage, but every 
woman's life has some sort of love-story in it. No greater 
misfortune* can befall a woman than to marry a man who does 
not love her. For a woman's whole life is love " — aunt Mary's 
fingers trembled — ^"nothing else matters. You are rich, I be- 
lieve; I know you look sweet. A woman can only marry once. 
Never forget that. She may have several husbands: she can 
only marry once." 

" But, auntie " 

" Your father will want you to marry. Young girls say * yes ^ 


«o lightly. It is easy to say * yes ': it is easy to say ' no/ Oti 
those little words hangs a woman's whole life. And we have 
but one life, Dorothea I " 

There was a note of anguish in aunt Mary's voice which 
Dorothea had never heard there before. The girl lay gazing at 
the darkness, and her mother's portrait seemed to take slow 
shape against the empty wall. "You mean," said Dorothea, 
" that mamma should have said * no.' " 

One fatal moment's hesitation answered her. Then she 
broke into passionate, timiultuous weeping, very unlike the 
tranquil tears of all that sorrowful day. " Oh, you are un- 
kind ! " she sobbed. " I love you I Oh, you are unkind I " 

"Dearest and dearest," entreated aunt Mary, sick with 
desperation, " who knows what may happen before we can si>eak 
to each other again ? All I would say is : Decide for yourself — 
not too hastily. Judge for yourself. Let no one deceive you. 
Ask God to help you. I know I am- saying it wrong. But, oh, 
my dear love, your life's happiness 1" 

She bent down, and speaking very swiftly and softly: 

" Thirty years ago," she said, " Domine Lester asked me to 
be his wife. Nobody, I don't mind telling you now, had ever 
asked me before: nobody has asked me since. The match was 
disapproved of: I said no. His present wife is an excellent 
woman. Yes, after six years, he married his present wife." 

Aunt Mary sat gazing at the gaunt trees outside; with one 
hand she stroked Dorothea's hair. 

" I often wonder whether any one profited by my — decision. 
I hope so. Emma and I have been happy together." 

"I have," said Dorothea: she raised herself slowly and 
kissed her aunt on the lips. "I understand," she continued. 
"My grandfather Brodryck, your stepfather, did this thing. 
He made my mother's marriage and prevented yours." 

" Let the dead rest," said aunt Mary faintly. 

" I have always known he was a wicked old man." 

" Hush, dear, none of us has told you." 

" Others have told me." 

" Dorothea, love your father — ^you will find him very lovable 
— obey him, but, dear motherless one, promise me here, where 
we have so often talked over all our hearts' secrets together, 
that you will never marry because he bids you — ^never for that 
reason alone." 

"I promise," replied Dorothea, with vague conceptions of 


possible meanings in the words. And then the two women 
kneeled down together, in the moonlight that streamed on the 
empty bed. 

"Yes, Sandring has sent for her to get her married/' said 
aunt Emma, tugging at her curls. " He told us as much when 
we last saw him. Marriage is his ideal for a woman. Faugh 1 " 

" I tried to warn her. I did it all wrong. You would have 
done it better," said Mary. 

"Possibly. But be sure you did it more nicely. A man's 
ideal! Pooh!" 

" I — ^I suppose so," said Mary. 

"And to think what sort of a creature will be Sandring's 
ideal of a son-in-law ! " 

" I sometimes fancy we wrong him." 

" Yes, dear. You never saw evil in any one without fancy- 
ing that." 

" Oh, Emma — Emma! what will the house be without her I 
Her laugh in the garden ! Her step on the stairs ! " 

Emma suddenly abandoned her curls. 

" God will bring her back to us," said Mary, 
** Antony has promised to do it," said Emma. 


Paris is surely, of all cities that have bared their fading 
splendors to the changeless sun, most sure of easy triumph o'er 
the commonplace mind of man. The barbaric extravagances 
of Babylon, the exquisite harmonies of Athens, the crimson 
pageant of Eome, these belong to various stages of mental de- 
velopment in races that loved beauty for its own sake. And the 
subtler delicacies of Eastern ingenuity even to this day, the 
lace-work of Delhi, the flower-work of Pekin, the bead-work of 
Granada, these appeal to souls that feel loveliness, when they 
see it, without knowing why. For few men can stop to study, 
in the toil and moil of their daily existence, the sensuous gratifi- 
cations that unconsciously surround them; and the charm of a 
city, unlike a picture's or a statue's, is pre-eminently for the 
many, not for the few. In our days, then, when artistic sensa- 
tion has broadened and grown shoddy, like the art it endeavors 
to feed on, when beautifulness has got to spread itself every- 
where and sparkle cheaply, an imitation diamond — in these days 
artistic enjoyment must be very loud and plain. Things must 
be big and bright, and costly; they must clearly inform us that 
they are fine. Their price, above all, must be manifest: how 
else should we know they were admirable? The sum expended 
upon their construction should be carved on the front of our 
new public buildings. In the monotony of their ugliness there 
would then at least be something that a man of education could 
call great. 

To Paris, however, as to no nineteenth century city — except- 
ing, perhaps, Buda-Pesth — ^belongs the secret of spending im- 
mense amounts of money with fairly satisfactory results. Un- 
noticed glories are, of course, not for these days of ours. King 
Mob must have his money's worth — an idea, be it said in pass- 
ing, that never yet entered the brain of a gentleman. But the 
gigantic things that Paris has to do, it can at least do decorous- 
ly. More than that, it can do them delicately, with gracious 
and graceful care. It can erect public buildings that do not 
swell like warts and bunions on the fair face of the city : it can 
lay down railways that do not cut across it like the slashes of 



some hideous sore. And yet more, it can spread a smile, from 
out the inner gladness of its people, over all its wide circmn- 
ference of streets. Sunshine lies upon the faces of the passers- 
by; sunshine ripples in the words they speak, the flowers and 
ribands that they wear; sunshine flashes even in their brightly- 
toned advertisements, their happy tricolor, their cheerful awn- 
ings and the temi>ered gilt of their fagades. If the mission of 
our modem art be, as all say, to divert the multitude, surely it 
remains a cordial thing, that a means be found to gratify the 
vulgar, in which even the non-vulgar may be glad. 

Dirt cannot lie on the countenance of Paris. Like the beau- 
tiful woman she is, she cares for her daily api>earance with 
scrupulous vigilance; but, nothing can remedy an impure com- 
plexion, as beautiful women know well. The cure must come 
from the inside, from the blood. Smoke, steam, parafl^, smuts, 
all the vile smithy-curse of our civilization, these blotches men 
tell us must fester — ^Paris puffs them away. The gaiety, the 
gracefulness, the charm of her inhabitants rise like a flood over 
all that is horrible; fall, with the sparkle of fountains, on dust. 
Vice may abound in the purlieus of the city. Where it shows 
itself it is neither outrageous nor grotesque. Shameless it may 
be; but at least it is not disgusting, and even when most ag- 
gressive, it has the decency not to flare. And if this be the new 
Babylon (as aunt Mary believes it is, when not mindful of the 
Papacy), then, at least, genius flings open the flower-filled 
temples of Ashtaroth, and that sight is surely more delectable 
than the gratings of the grimy sanctuary where Mammon sits 
enthroned on gold. 

It may rain, but it is never dark in Paris. The city may 
be sad, it can never be dull. Misery smiles there, with tears in 
its eyes. Sickness jokes the physicians that are probing its 
wounds. And when the bright city goes mad with fierce dreams 
of its own proud divinity, and the blood of its children is 
poured in broad strean^s down its beautiful boulevards, then its 
pulses beat quicker, its shoutings rise higher, the red blood flows 
redder — ^than where helots still bow their drink-soddened brows 
'neath the grinding boots of their " betters," and the music to 
which brave souls die willingly is the sweetest illusion of the 
high glories of man I 

Dorothea, as her glances leaped right and left through the 
windows of her railway omnibus, felt all the delight of one 
who, turning a long wall of granite, suddenly beholds an im- 
mense tract of landscape: valleys, lakes, cities, the sea. It is 


queer, in these travelled days, to realize that a normal trip to 
Paris can convey new impressions to any one : let ns be grateful, 
you and I, that, however jaded we may be, the world is always 
fresh to somebody. Dorothea had not travelled, except along 
the Ehine: the aunts disapproved of France, which was athe- 
istical and papistical, and had killed its king. She had been 
caref idly brought up by a Swiss governess at home. " Her edu- 
cation," said uncle Tony, "has been admirably in accordance 
with all recognized requirements. She knows nothing that she 
ought to know, and nothing that she oughtn't." 

Everything had charmed her on the journey, as soon as she 
cheered up. She had not disapproved vehemently, like Rebecca, 
of the coffee at Brussels. 

" Freule," barked the disgusted waiting-woman, " remember 
we can still go back." 


" Yes — ^back. The ladies would be very glad to see you." 

" Why, I don't know when I shall go back ? " 

" I do," replied Rebecca. 

But Dorothea had become interested in a very stout and 
shiny Frenchman who entered her compartment, struggling 
under an over-abundance of badly packed parcels, containing 
toys. "Containing" is, perhaps, hardly the word: Dorothea 
helped to pick up a good many odds and ends. She remained 
grave when he tried a tin trumpet, explaining that it was for 
Jean, " mon soldat," but she laughed with him when he pulled 
out a drawer from a grocer's shop and scattered a quantity of 
rice over them both. Rebecca sat, drawn up in a furthermost 
comer, her fancy at work on impossible crimes. " Ah, mademoi- 
selle," said the Frenchman, pausing in a long account of his 
grandchildren, "to be interested in playthings, one must be 
very young, as you are, or very old, as I." He saw the lights of 
the city before she did. " Accept," he said, " my felicitations I 
Nothing equals a first view of Paris, unless it be seeing it 

Dorothea was reflecting, at that moment, that nothing can 
equal the awkwardness of meeting a father you don't know. 
Colonel Sandring, however, fully shared this opinion, and as 
awkward situations were the one thing he most anxiously 
avoided, the aunts had sat helplessly staring since noon at a 
telegram requesting Dorothea to come on at once to the hotel. 
" Well, Pm glad," she said, as soon as the commissionaire had 
found her, " that I didn't address the wrong person as * Papa.' 


You needn't look glum, Rebecca; you didn't exx>ect a father." 

"I expected yours," retorted Rebecca; "he'd have led us 
out of this Babylonian confusion. Jabbering worse than a 
mad-house. And all gibberish from first to last." 

" Also, I warn you, I shall laugh whenever you say * Babylo- 
nian.' " 

" The wick — some people mock me without a cause," quoted 
the handmaid. " The ladies " 

" The ladies may use the word, for at least they know what 
it means. I don't believe there were railway stations in Babylo- 
nia. 'Now, please don't be cross. You'll enjoy your supper." 

" Unless it's frogs," replied Rebecca. 

To her mind the view from the onmibus windows presented 
no other impression than bewilderment. And yet there is 
surely no more healthfully intoxicating, no more pleasurably 
bracing spot upon the earth than a bit of Paris boulevard on a 
fine winter evening. The bright light, full, yet never flaring, 
the soft air, fresh, but never raw, the quick movements, never 
ungraceful, the vivacity that stops short of roughness, the alert- 
ness that avoids all unpleasantness everywhere, the simplicity 
that cannot look sordid, the luxury that cannot look vulgar, the 
rhythmical harmonies of motion and appearance and utterance 
in thousands of mortals who, whatever they may happen to be 
doing, are sure to be doing it pleasantly — all these combine to 
give the foreigner an impression of gladness unsurpassed by 
anything except the song of thrushes in a copse. And no won- 
der, for in the heart of every Frenchman a bird carols cease^ 
lessly, often clamorous, sometimes gentle, never still. 

The little hatless woman who tripped aside before their 
vehicle, holding up her tight-fitting black cloth skirt, had not 
perhaps our northern regularity of feature — ^though who could 
find time to observe this beside the brightness of her eyes? — : 
but Dorothea noticed a dainty step that is shared by no other 
nymphs in Christendom, and a fit of gown and boot such as gold 
cannot buy in Philistia. And the red-faced cabby, whose reck- 
less driving had distracted her own (bad) coachman, might use 
reprehensible language, but never silk hat in park or square was 
worn as that cabby wore his glazed one. Why, even the names 
on the shop-fronts had their own inherent grace of curve and 
accent ! Look at " Saucisson," with the pretty half -moon in the 
middle. Put it beside " Sausage " or " Wurst " I 

Even the long Rue La Fayette, so hideous on departure, 
seems happy and bright when you arrive : you can almost forgive 


it for proving interminable. But what when it comes to an end, 
as all things interminable do, and you suddenly glide, O Doro- 
thea, into the musical maelstrom of the Opera? 

The turmoil of the Grand Hotel courtyard brought with it 
that inevitable amount of ill-treatment which always befalls a 
shy person from hard-pressed officials : in immediate contrast to 
all this strange clatter and crush Dorothea found herself ushered 
into a silent and softly-lighted sitting-room, which a tall man 
of military appearance simultaneously entered from the farther 

"My dear girl!" said Colonel Sandring, his whole face, 
form, and accent one eager advance. He stopped dead. " Is that 
— a — ^person your maid. Would you tell her to wait outside?" 
Dorothea found him just the handsome, sunburnt man she had 
expected. Only a good deal more wrinkled about the eyes. 

He kissed her affectionately on both cheeks, led her forward, 
and took away her umbrella. '* An absurd position, is it not ? " 
he said. "Let us try to ignore it. You are handsomer, my 
dear, than your photos. I always imagined you were dark, like 
your mother. Well, many men prefer fair women. Of course 
I should have loved you" — ^he laughed — ^**even had you been 
positively plain. But, my dear, you are the very reverse — ^I 
assure you, the very reverse." He kissed her again and brought 
her a footstool and turned up the lamp-shade. 

" Of course you got my telegram ? For your sake I felt that 

a platform was not the place to ^no, let us do the thing in 

private. It is absurd, I grant you, but also it is a little — ^touch- 
ing. And your aunts never received my three-weeks-old letter 
till yesterday. Surely, forgive me, the postal arrangements of 
Holland are — ^are a little behindhand ? " 

" I — ^I believe they are considered good," said Dorothea lame- 
ly. She always remembered afterwards that this stupid bit of 
information was the first thing she said to her father. "But 
your letter went to Utrecht in America." 

" Ah ? — ^that is the bigger city, of course : everything is big- 
ger in America. Please, do not think I wished to disparage 
your native country. It is your native country, isn't it ? That, 
too, seems funny! I like defective postal arrangements: they 
save one such lots of unpleasant correspondence. Now, do you 
know, once in South Africa, the post kept back a lot of letters 
of mine because they thought they contained money, while, as 
a matter of fact, they had been sent me by my duns. You know 
what duns are ? " 


" Cows f " ventured Dorothea, with much hesitation. 

"Well, no, not exactly, but your English is wonderful for 
a foreigner! Why, Dolly, I feel a rich man to-night. You 
won't mind my calling you * Dolly ' ? The other seems rather 
a mouthful." 

Before Dorothea's vision rose up wild scenes of tears and 
foot-stampings with the Lesters over that dollish nickname of 
" Dolly," but her eyes looked into her father's face with a, ques- 
tion she could not induce her lips to frame. 

"It was my pet name for your mother," he said softly. 
" My dear Dolly, I feel I am ridiculous : it cannot be helped. 
Women always behave so much better in matters of sentiment. 
Our costume hampers us. Now, in a toga, I should know 
exactly what to do, and look better doing it." 

Dorothea tried to fancy her admirably-coated sire in a toga. 

" Everything has turned out ridiculous : of course I expected 
we should have plenty of time to write and arrange things. 
I — ^I had always expected your aunts to broach the subject. I 
am sure you understand my feeling? " He bent forward a little 

" They would never have done that," answered Dorothea 

" Pray do not think I intend to convey a suggestion of blame. 
On principle, I never blame any one, excepting servants and 
tradespeople. But really, I assure you, it has always been settled 
that you would return to me as soon as you came of age." 

" I'm not of age I " exclaimed Dorothea. 

"My dear, you surely were twenty-one yesterday? I have 
always understood that things moved slowly in Holland, but 
surely a birthday doesn't take more than a year to come round? " 

"No— but " 

" A good thing if it did I " 

" In Holland, at any rate, father, people come of age at 

There was a moment's embarrassed silence: then Colonel 
Sandring burst into peals of laughter. " I might have known I 
I might have known I " he cried. " Of course it'd take a Dutch- 
man longer to come of age than any other man I What did your 
aunts think I wanted you all of a sudden for?" 

Dorothea blushed, unable to give aunt Mary's explanation, 
even assuming it to be, incontestably the correct one. " I sup- 
pose, because you — ^wanted me," she said. 

She looked so charming over the shyly spoken words that 


Colonel Sandring exclaimed with fervor : " Well, Fm awfully 
glad you are come, my dear. What a mercy that no one had 
time to explain. I detest explanations. They always complicate 
matters so. Your mother, I remember, came of age through her 
marriage. People do, it appears, in your country. As if a man 
under age who goes and marries shouldn't rather have a second 
guardian given him, like an imbecile I " 

" How young were you when you married ? '' eried Dorothea, 
catching her father's laugh. 

** My dear, have I said I was not an imbecile ? All the happi- 
ness of my life I have owed to my follies. We were fools in a 
fools' paradise, your mother and I. We were very happy, Doro- 
thea." His voice sank: he sat resting his great moustache on 
his hand. Dorothea listened, uncertain, pleased. 

A terrific bang at the door sent the Colonel flying from his 
chair. Dorothea stared, astonished, to see a brave man go so 

suddenly white I Who's that ? Stop where you are I D it, 

didn't I tell you I couldn't receive you I " Sandring rushed 
hastily forward : his daughter listened, shocked beyond measure 
by the first oath she had ever heard uttered. " I fear it is my 
maid," she faltered. The door fell open wide : Eebecca filled the 

"Sarah was right, though I wouldn't believe it," shouted 
Eebecca, " when she said the waiters kissed you in the passage. 
I won't stay there anotiier minute, not I ! " 

" She says the servants try to kiss her ! " explained Dorothea 
in distress. 

Colonel Sandring slowly studied the broad-beamed and hard- 
featured female, " Dear me I " he replied. 

" I am sorry they insulted you," said Dorothea. 

"Me? No, indeed. I should like to see them try to. It 
was another girl, white and pink, with ringlets. But I will not 
connive by my presence, at the doing of deadly sin 1 " 

"Oh — she saw them try to kiss some one else," explained 
Dorothea, much relieved. 

The Colonel turned on his heel. " Quite so," he said. " I 
can understand her finding that disagreeable. Dorothea, are 
you tired ? I suppose you will dine in your room? " 

"Have you had dinner?" asked Dorothea. 

Now Colonel Sandring, though he could act the biggest 
prevarications, was incapable of telling the smallest lie. " Not 
yet," he said, a little ruefully, "I will order something nice 


for us both in the restaurant. Is there any wine you especially 
care for? Champagne, I suppose?" 

" I am a total abstainer." 

" Phew I My dear child, not — ^not, I hope, a Blue Ribbon- 

" No, not a Blue Ribbonite." 

"You relieve me. The shade they have selected is so un- 
necessarily hideous. How that blue blot on her bosom must 
limit a woman in the choice of her clothes I " 

"Please, father, don't go thinking I'm a faddist. I hate 
faddists. But one of our gardeners that aunt Emma wanted to 
turn away promised me to stop drinking brandy if I took the 
pledge not to touch wine." 

" The connection is evident," said the Colonel, smiling un- 

" My wine to his brandy, you see." 

"I see, I presume this toper derives satisfaction from the 
thought that he has at least made one person teetotal." 

" Oh, father, I'm sure he keeps his word." 

" Naturally you are. I shall telegraph to this fellow to get 
publicly drunk at my expense." Then he came back to her. 
"I'm so glad," he said, "you have generous impulses. I be- 
lieve I had generous impulses at twenty-one. I know your 
mother had. You are very like your mother. Even more than 
I thought at first. You have that same lofty look about the eye- 
brows. I am sure you are very good." And he took her hand, 
and touched it with his lips. "That is right. One likes a 
young girl to be good." 

"And an old woman?" queried Dorothea, feeling suddenly 

"An old woman undoubtedly." Colonel Sandring walked 
thoughtfully downstairs. 

In the brilliant vestibule, all glitter and mirrors, full of 
the odors and sounds of the huge table (Thoie close at hand, a 
woman, gorgeously clothed in a long evening cloak of gold 
brocade, lounged on a crimson settee, watching the people who 
passed her. 

" Ah ! " she said. " Enfin ! Have you quarrelled already, 
that the first encounter should have lasted so long ? " 

" She is exquisite," replied the Colonel, reddening. " Sim- 
ple, and sensible, and sweet. And forgive me, dear Blanche, if 
I say, she is not of the women who quarrel I " 


"Well, am I to wait here much longer? Wliat is the de- 
cision ? " 

" The decision is that she dines with me downstairs. I will 
tell, therefore, this boy to call a cab. You will drive to — ^let me 
see — Vlfour will be handiest — ^you will have a quiet little repast 
there, with a glass of your favorite Sauteme, and then you will 
just step across to the Palais Koyal — see, here are the two 
tickets — ^where, in any case, I shall fetch you for supper." 

The woman frowned. " Our last night in Paris I " she ex- 
claimed. "And I hate seeing farces alone. Nor shall I dine 

by myself in this costume at a cafe, as if I were a No, keep 

your tickets. Take your daughter to see * Les trois femmes k 
Papa " I I shall have a snack of something here in the restau- 
rant, and then I shall go off to bed." 

"Here in the restaurant? Are you mad?" 

"By no means. That sort of thing will be constantly oc- 
curring. Better get it over at once." 

"It will not occur to-night," said the Colonel. "I intend 
to enjoy my daughter tranquilly to-night. You will oblige me 
by dropping the subject. You know how I abhor any sort of 

She gazed into his eyes. " Very well," she said. " Mind you 
come for me at the Palais Royal." 

The Colonel, slightly shrugging his shoulders, went up to 
fetch his daughter, whom he found waiting in her grey travel- 
ling dress with a big hat and boa. 

"You are very tall," said the Colonel, satisfied, "and you 
walk well. I like your walk." He followed her, watching every 
movement. At the bottom of the stairs she stopped. " Oh, 
what a beautiful cloak!" she said. 

She walked slowly across the hall, her eyes immovably fixed 
on the garment and its wearer. The lady of the cloak, but 
slightly modifying her recumbent attitude, bent forward, a loose 
fan between her careless fingers, staring back. 

" My dear child, this way " said the Colonel. 

Dorothea moved slowly to the left, as he directed her. " Do 
you know," she began, whilst they took their places at a little 
table, " I never saw so splendid a garment before I That comes 
of being in Paris. I fear you will find me very uncivilized, 

" Women of your class, Dolly, don't, as a rule, notice women 
of that:' 

She glanced across at him; he had turned to a waiter. The 


next moment she had understood, and she flushed to the roots 
of her hair. Of course she hneWy yet never had she come in 
contact with any form of the reality ; nay, nor with any presen- 
tation of the subject, outside the hallowed pages of the Bible, 
in which all things look pure beneath the pure light from on 
high. She trusted that her father would not understand her 
blushes, and the thought made her blush all the deeper, in 
ripples of carmine that spread down her neck. 
Her father sat watching her. 


Colonel Sandring's character must speak for itself in the 
course of this veracious narrative. Not that it needs vindica- 
tion, for the Colonel was one of those fortunate good fellows 
who have hundreds of pleasant acquaintances all over the 
world. These united in praising his courage and generosity 
and good-nature. True, the people who disliked him, disliked 
him thoroughly, but these were men and women, chiefly women, 
whom he hardly knew. Other women loved him : he had always 
been an easy favorite where he sought for favors, and what does 
a wise man care for the scorn he passes by? In one of his Mexi- 
can campaigns a young half-caste had killed herself for him, 
purposely getting shot by a rival in his stead. No blame at- 
tached to him — at least, as regards the shooting ; next morning 
he had enriched the mother with all the spoils of his year's hard 

Of the bravery which had gained him so many medals he 
was hardly conscious, but he painfully realized the good-nature 
which had lost him so many gold pieces. " I can't say No I " 
was his frequent lamentation. Had you woke him in the middle 
of the night to inquire for the name of his worst enemy, he 

would probably first have told you to go to (that enemy), 

but afterwards he would certainly have informed you that the 
enemy's name was " I can't say No." For, on his side, he had 
no strong passions of antipathy. He disliked ugly women, very 
good women, and cowardly men. 

He rose at about noon on the day after Dorothea's arrival — 
" Mid-day to three in the morning is long enough for me," says 
the Colonel — and dressed with his usual consideration of detail. 
He felt pleasantly tickled in his very soft heart, and slightly 
oppressed in his rather light conscience, by the thought of pos- 
sessing a daughter. A charming possession, clear, beautiful, 
transparent, but as difficult to carry about the world as a jelly. 
He must walk circumspectly. " I shall show her a bit of Paris," 
he said to himself, as he leisurely descended the staircase. " I 
must be careful to let her see the world generally right side up." 


He found Dorothea eagerly waiting for him (since nine o'clock). 
"We will lunch at LedoyenV' he said, "and go for a drive. 
The day is fine, but I hope you don't mind about weather. 
Your health is all right?" 

" I never was ill in my life." 

" That is right. Little ailments are a daily nuisance. One 
hates a woman with megrims." 

Much as she inevitably enjoyed the sight-seeing, that day 
does not survive in Dorothea's memory as a vision of unmixed 
delights. Her father drove her at a slashing pace, in a victoria, 
along the boulevards and up into the Bois de Boulogne. In her 
ignorance her desire to "visit the curiosities" would have 
taken a more antiquarian turn, but her father was too experi- 
enced a traveller not to know what could be done in half a day, 
and knowingly do less. Besides, the Colonel had a healthy 
dread of churches and museums. Classic art was a closed book 
to him, and, unlike nine educated people out of ten, he did not 
make grotesque attempts to turn the pages of a volume he was 
holding upside down. The patter of the boulevards he had at 
his fingers' ends : he knew about the people of the moment, the 
people who are making money or a noise. He recognized the 
prints of popular pictures, had an opinion on the successful 
novels of the last two years (earlier ones he had forgotten), and 
could hum snatches from dozens of operas, or, still more gener- 
ally, operettas. His talk to his daughter, as they drove through 
the bewildering city, eddied like a whirlpool, in which she sank, 
hopelessly a fool. Had they betaken themselves to the Louvre, 
she would have recognized the names, at least, of Bembrandt 
or Kubens, or even Jean Goujon, but the Colonel tattled of 
Forain, 'of Cheret, of Peladan and Caran d'Ache. Never con- 
sciously unreasonable, he would lightly have accepted her igno- 
rance of many subjects, but he thought she might have heard 
of Baron Haussmann or of M. Charles Gamier. She need not 
have been aware, perhaps, that the Jockey Club is hardly an 
institution for the moral benefit (undoubtedly desirable) of 
horse-jockeys, but she might have heard somewhere, the Colonel 
thought, that the Bois de Boulogne does not run along the Chan- 
nel coast! 

" Jean de Reszk^ is a famous opera singer," said the Colonel 
mildly. " My dear — ^af ter all — ^you are twenty-one — ^have you 
never been to an opera ? " 

" Aunt Mary thought operas wicked," replied Dorothea. 

"Operas? Music? The gift of God? Why, look at the 


birds, child! €kxl has an oi)era performance at sunrise every 

"Don't you think that's an oratorio?" replied Dorothea 

Her father glanced at her tranquil face, delighted to get so 
good a reply. " Of course I knew there were such people," he 
said presently. " ' Exeter Hall ' we call them, * Little Bethel.' 
It's my fault, though I don't see how I could have helped it. 
Never mind, Dolly ; but had it been the theatre, I think I might 
at least have attempted to understand." 

" Aunt Emma disapproved of the theatre," replied Dorothea. 
" She thought an opera performance might elevate the soul." 

" Ah I Now, I dare say your aunt Emma and I would have 
understood each other I " 

"Ye — es," answered Dorothea doubtfully. "Aunt Mary is 
a sweet creature, father, please. I love her dearly." 

" Quite right, Dolly. I also am deeply grateful to her. Your 
aunts are most estimable. Look at that woman yonder, driving 
those showy bays I That is the Princesse de Gardagne, who has 
just succeeded in getting her husband locked up in a private 
asylum, though he's no more insane than I." 


" My dear, I cannot tell you," was the Colonel's diplomati- 
cally truthful reply. 

" But how? " gasped the girl. 

" Oh, of course it cost her a lot. But she was a wise woman, 
and had her money tied up for herself when she married. We 
shall do the same thing some day for you." 

"Is such wickedness possible?" stammered Dorothea, sud- 
denly trembling from head to foot. 

The Colonel could not forbear smiling. " My dear, you have 
read of worse, I presume, in history," he answered. " There 
was Messalina and Lucretia Borgia, and — ^I don't think I can 
remember any other very bad women out of history — out of 
other people's histories. You will have to look out for bad 
people, child — bad men ^specially. However, you women have 
your instincts, thank God. Men are as naturally attracted by 
wickedness as women are repelled by it." 

" But, father, that's an easy apology for men I " 

" Is it ? Most men, I fancy, do not ask for an apology. For 
heaven's sake, don't let us get lugubrious. Isn't that exquisite, 
the long line of carriages right up to the Etoile ? " 

"Exquisite," responded Dorothea, who was gazing at the 


primrose sunset beyond the majestic arch. A long silence would 
have settled between them but that the Colonel detested silences 
even more than unsympathetic discourse. 

" Redf em," he read aloud in the Rue de Rivoli. And behold, 
there was no response I Now, a girl need know little of the many 
things that occupy her father, but surely she should seek to 
share, even from a distance, the few paltry interests of her sex! 
"Of course you weren't able to get things before leaving," he 
said. " These people have a place at Nice. ' In season and out 
of season ' they'll be able to provide you with everything you 
want." The quotation struck him as particularly neat. " Like 
a gown from Redf em's," he thought, " it fits." 

"And Dorothea's does not." Then, suddenly a fresh fancy 
seemed to fill him with pleasure. He told the coachman to 
drive to the Rue de la Paix, and entered a jeweller's shop. 

" Choose something ! " he said, as Dorothea stood, amazed, 
amid the scintillating treasures. " I am disgusted at having to 
add, *Not too magnificent, please.' Forgive me. Still we can 
get some trifling memento of this wonderful first day together." 
He picked up a diamond star. " Now, this is pretty, and proba- 
bly not too expensive. I am disgusted : I should have liked to 
have given you the finest necklace in the shop." 

" I never had anything half so splendid in my life," cried 

" Then, it's high time you began. But your aunts are quite 
right; young girls shouldn't wear jewels. This little trifle'U 
just do. It's your birthday present. My dear child, don't look 
so frightened, or you'll drive me to tell you the pitiful price. 
Hurry up." He held open the shop door. " We shall just be in 
time to get some dinner before the train starts." 

The train started at about eight that evening, a Riviera 
train de luxe. Sleeping-cars and restaurant-cars were newer in 
those days than now; Dorothea had never seen them, nor had 
she come in contact with the class of people who patronized 
that superlatively expensive and uncomfortable modem mode of 
travelling. A babel of nationalities filled the wide platform, 
yet none of these presented any pleasing originality; rather 
they all appeared parodies of one another. All of them were 
self-conscious, and scornful (with reason) of their neighbors; 
all of them gave themselves airs, probably because they had lost 
the air of their ancestors; many were titled (with coronets on 
their boxes) and most were too rich. Loud men and louder 
women, carefully, and manifestly, made up to look younger 


than they were, clothed in the eccentricities of checks, capes, 
caps, covert-coats, etc., the whole extravaganza of horsiness dear 
to the sporting taste of the day, which revels in a general aspect 
and odor of leather and stable-cloths. Pyramids of trunks were 
being carted right and left round Dorothea, but what astonished 
her most were the torrents of superfine hand-baggage, dressing 
bags, despatch-boxes, bouquets, lap-dogs, canaries, rugs, overalls, 
furs, air-cushions, tennis-rackets, hot-water bottles, pouring 
down on all available spaces in what seemed a hopeless pell-mell. 
Without these things you and I know our daughters cannot 
travel ; let us be thankful that there still exists backwoods even 
in Europe, where a girl may grow up quite simple, yet refined. 

" 'Now, here's your sleeper," said Colonel Sandring, turning 
up, perfectly cool, in the hubbub, his interminable cigarette 
between his lips. "There's an awful crush, at this season. I 
was very lucky in being able to effect an exchange." 

" And yourself ? " asked Dorothea. 

" Oh, I'm an old stager. I shall go on, by another train, 
with your maid. There's no danger, Dolly." He laughed to her, 
but she hadn't understood. 

" Here's a couple of napoleons for the journey. Don't speak 
to any one, especially not your companion in this hole for the 
night. Drive straight to the Grand Hotel at Nice on arriving. 
My train comes in an hour or two later. It couldn't be helped. 
I tried hard enough to get a third — a second berth yesterday." 

" It's your discomfort I was thinking of," replied Dorothea. 
** Please father, I must just speak to my maid." 

" I don't mind," replied Rebecca tartly. " It's you, Freule, 
that's going to be killed in that little box. Good-night." She 
went and established herself on a trunkful of luggage, from 
which she had first carefully removed a black poodle, right under 
the gold glasses and Wellington nose of its painted and pow- 
dered proprietress. 

" Marquise, it is a peasant ! " explained a sickly little male 
creature in a pink and white collar. "I can see that, mon 
cher," retorted the harridan, "but my father would have shot 
the impudent dead ! " The unconscious Rebecca sat grimly 
confronting the poodle, which was a marvellous " First Prize," 
curled, tasselled and trimmed. 

" Satan ! " she exploded, like a thunderbolt. The poodle 
showed his teeth, not because she likened him to an angel, but 
because she had thrust him from his high estate. Rebecca 
smiled fearlessly back, and, as she gazed across her surround- 


ings, the rugged smile broadened. She approved of the Devil, 
and his doings. He fitted into her system. A sort of moral 
shower-bath to the righteous. Bracing. 

In front of Dorothea's cabin a female voice, that was authori- 
tatively summoning the conductor, stopped, in a loud rustle of 
silk underskirts. A strong smell of violets filled the little 
chamber. A big, florid lady, in black feathers and the fashion- 
able hair-dye, obstructed the door. 

" Ah, c'est ici," she said. " Bien I Bonjour, madame." 

Dorothea started to her feet, her heart full of a nameless 
terror which she was doing her best to keep back from her eyes. 
Stammering some incoherent apology, she pushed past the new- 
comer, who was leisurely examining her quarters, and, breath- 
less, caught the Colonel by the arm, where he calmly stood 
buying a Figaro. 

" Father I " she stuttered, " I can't travel in that compart- 
ment. There's a person come in that — ^the woman with the 

" Calm yourself, for goodness sake — people are looking," said 
the Colonel angrily. " Good gracious, how pale you are ! " — 
all the anger had died out of his voice. " Don't be a fool, Dolly. 
Of course there's another passenger. She won't speak to you. 
And if she does, just reply, yes or no." Thus far the Colonel, 
who considered he had admirably solved a rather awkward 
dilemma at no slight inconvenience to himself. He had been 
very anxious that Dorothea should come away to him at once, 
for fear of never getting her at all. 

" But you don't understand," she cried in anguish. " It's 
the woman we saw at the hotel. I can't spend a night with that 
woman ! " 

" Well, she was at the hotel last night, and she's going on, 
probably, to Nice. What more natural ? Are you afraid ? " 

Dorothea drew back a step. " Afraid ? " she said. " Of her 
hitting me? No." 

" Of her hurting you ? " He smiled. 

« Yes." 

" En voiture, s'il vous plait ! " said a passing conductor. 

" Come, Dorothy, you're behaving like a baby. Look here, 
I got this for you ! " He ran after her, as she turned, feeling the 
hopelessness of all argument, and pushed into her hand a dainty 
parcel of chocolates. " Sleep well ! Bon voyage ! Meet me at 
Nice with a smile ! " 

Long after the train had started, Dorothea sat, squeezed as 


tight as she could squeeze into the far corner by the window, 
quite still, shrinking away. 'She looked out a good deal into the 
night, but you soon get tired of that. The cabin was full of the 
heavy odor of violets; the neighbor, less immovable, rustled all 
the time. Once, in turning to get something out of her bag, 
which she was constantly opening and shutting, she put down 
her white-gloved hand on a fold of Dorothy's skirt. The girPs 
heart gave a horrible leap, and went on bumping. As her 
thoughts grew a little calmer, she felt ashamed of herself, yet 
she knew there was no other impulse at work in her bosom than 
grief and compassion, grief above all. Through the long, long 
hours, when the light had been veiled and the train went crash- 
ing through the darkness, Dorothea lay on her narrow top-shelf, 
not undressed — she could not have undressed — ^lay with troubled 
eyes she hardly dared to close. Yet, from time to time she 
closed them, for long periods, praying with all her innocent 
heart and soul, in passionate strainings of the lips, for the 
woman tranquilly snoring beneath her. 

And for herself she prayed, in deep humility, with tender 
liftings of the heart to God, who had kept her from- great 
temptation. She hid away her watch under her pillow, and also 
the diamond star. !N'ot that she distinctly doubted the person's 
honesty, but she vaguely knew, from the Book of Proverbs, that 
such women lived by plunder. She knew nothing, except that all 
we like sheep have gone astray, yet that between this sort of 
sinners and all others a great gulf lay fixed, into which her 
flock could never wander, but from which, in all their strayings, 
they shudderingly turned away. Sleep would have been im- 
possible in any case. The train banged and rattled on with 
frequent stops, loud bumpings, a blowing of horns that might 
wake the dead: the air in the tiny compartment was stifling, 
the cramping boards caused every limb to ache. And she lay, 
through the lengthening hours of persistent creaking and heav- 
ing, lay praying, praying, praying for the woman who snored 

She climbed down from her perch in ,the morning, stiff and 
soiled, feeling as if she would never be clean again. Early light 
did not suit the French lady's complexion, but, being an ex- 
perienced traveller, she got herself far more easily into some 
sort of trim. She seemed to ignore the presence of anyone else 
in the crowded car : she said " Pardon, madame," a good many 
times, but otherwise acted exactly as she liked. 

She rushed away for lengthy meals, and ate fruit and sweet- 


meats and other thmgs promiscuously in between. She also 
drank something out of a bottle. In the early morning Doro- 
thea profited by a moment of solitude to read her usual chapter 
in the Bible, and, having finished it, turned with pardonable 
curiosity to that same Book of Proverbs, which gives so graphic 
a description both of the wisest woman and also of the wickedest 
that philosopher can realize, exx>erience, or invent. She looked 
up presently from the volume on her knees, to meet the French- 
woman's gaze fixed coolly upon her, and she gave a sharp start 
of surprise, for it seemed to her, in her first alarm and embar- 
rassment, as if her companion must have been perusing the 
sacred passage upside down, or even now could read its meaning 
in her face. As if Madame Blanche would have understood a 
single word of it, even had it not been in Dutch I 

" Pardon, madame," said the Frenchwoman. Dorothea's tell- 
tale eyes glanced hastily away to the strange clear southern 
landscape that had gradually revealed itself in the growing 
morning light, the landscape of silver-grey olives and aloes, the 
long grey stretches of rock and of clouded Mediterranean, the 
whiteness and brightness of the houses under the strong grey 
sky. She hid away her shabby little book and took out a 
Tauchnitz volume. In those days the train de luxe — ^was there 
ever name invented more appropriately vulgar? — did not reach 
Nice till after noon; Dorothea, going to lunch, found herself 
seated opposite a table at which two men were laughing loudly. 
ITear her sat Madame, serenely pensive, behind a cup of coffee 
and a glass of Chartreuse. Dorothea ate hastily off the dim-blue 
plates : it was not till she rose to attract the waiter's attention 
that she found her purse was gone I 

" Oui, madame," said the waiter, standing expectant. " Trois 
francs cinquante et un seltz, qa fait quatre francs ving:t-cinq." 

" I have lost my purse I " gasped Dorothea. She remembered 
having put it in her pocket as she passed up the corrider. The 
men stopped talking. Madame did not turn her head. 

The waiter looked intelligent interest, without any personal 
bias. " Perhaps Madame had dropped it ? " he pretended to L>ok 
under the table. " Perhaps she was sitting on it ? 'No ? " 

" Well, there were always pickpockets at Marseilles. It was 
written up everywhere. ' Beware ' " 

" I haven't left the train since Paris I " exclaimed Dorothea. 
And then, to her amazement, the man turned nasty, with the 
swift insolence of all these employes when once they see their 
chance. " Do you think that the company's servants have taken 


it? Or one of the passengers, the aristocracy of Europe? If 
you haven't the money to pay ^" 

" Can I be of service? " asked one of the men from the side- 
table, bending forward — oh, he was manifestly a gentleman, and 
plainly "no better than he should be" — a curious phrase, by 
the bye, which shows with how exceedingly little the world is 
agreed to be content. " Don't, pray, look so distressed, although 
it suits you admirably. Pray iet me pay this man : it will be too 
cheap a pleasure ^^ 

"Take your money and be gone," said the Frenchwoman, 
turning suddenly with a five-franc piece to the waiter. " This 
young lady travels in my compartment : we shall doubtless find 
the purse there. Shall we go and look for it ? " And she led the 
way. Dorothea followed dumbly. Terrible visions had risen 
up before her of magistrates and policemen. What fearful fate 
was reserved for strangers who made debts of four francs 
twenty-five and had no money to pay? 

"It is no use looking: it is stolen," she cried as she sank 
back on the seat, her hands before her eyes. " Oh, how shall I 
ever thank you for your kindness, your very great kindness ? " 
She was humbled to the dust. 

" Pooh, it is nothing I You will want a few francs on arriv- 
ing: shall I put them down here, in your lap. Will you smell 
these salts? I am going on to Monte Carlo. No doubt your 
pocket was picked by one of these fine gentlemen in the corridor. 
You must realize, mademoiselle, that you are now on the coast 
where the cream and the scum of the world float uppermost. 
You will find the worst editions of humanity here — ^hil hi I — 
black letter inside, bound in gold." 

"I can never repay you," said Dorothea, struggling with 
her repugnance, "but still, you must give me an address to 
which I can send these few francs." 

And now it was the other lady's turn to look embarrassed, 
under her powder. " For ten francs I " she said. " Pooh ; it is 
not worth while. You will give them to the poor ! " 

Dorothea drew herself up. "I cannot remain indebted to 
you for more than your kindness," she said. 

The Frenchwoman paused, then, with an extra rustle she 
wrote down a few words on a scrap of her " Gil Bias " and 
handed them to Dorothea, who read: 

"Madame de Barvielle, 
" Poste Restante, 

" Monaco." 


" I have not yet decided on my hotel," said Madame de Bar- 
vielle. " This is Cannes. I will say goodbye. I am terribly 
thirsty, and am going to the restaurant to get something to 

Dorothea bowed, and they parted. The villas and hotels of 
Cannes crept nearer by on every side: the train stopped in an 
atmosphere of warmth and sunlight, an odor of eucalyptus and 
mimosa: the air was filled with English voices and clouds of 
dust. Dorothea sat through the endless waits and shuntings 
and final start, with troubled eyes that saw but little: she had 
no more thoughts for the wide display of nature's wealth, or of 
man's. The train stole softly along the shore towards Nice. 
The girl's breath came fast with nervousness. Presently she 
drew from her pocket a little book of devotional thoughts that 
aunt Mary had given her on parting, and pushed it, trembling, 
into the side-pocket of the Frenchwoman's bag. Then, a mo- 
ment later, she pulled it out again, and went in search of 
Madame de Barvielle, who sat in the restaurant-car behind a 
soda and something. 

" Madame," said Dorothea unhesitatingly, " will you accept 
this trifle from me in memory of your kindness ? " 

The Frenchwoman smiled sweetly, took the book, and 
frowned. Then she looked up into the girl's simple face, and 
the scornful thanks died away from her lips. 

"Gladly," she said: that was all, and Dorothea hastily 
climbed down to the platform. 

A couple of hours later she was telling her father the whole 
of her adventures, all but the last little bit about the book. 
The Colonel, as we know, was a brave man. He bore the story 

" Perhaps that will teach you to be less censorious," he said. 
" It's all right, of course, but you good women can be so devilish 

" I have no desire to be hard," replied Dorothea. 

" You will have to be careful here. You see, you are now on 
the coast where the cream and the scum of the world float upper- 
most. You will find the worst editions of humanity here, black 
letter inside, bound in gold." 

Dorothea stared at her father in blank amazement. 

"You needn't stare so; it's true," he laughed. 

But she stared all the harder. 


" Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes," said 
the Baroness, gazing down upon her shapely feet. These were 
cased in new-fashioned, ridiculously grass-green leather. 

" The whole business has been d d unlucky,'' replied the 

Colonel. The pair were sitting side by side on a bench of the 
terrace at Monte Carlo, watching the pigeon-shooting, he with 
appreciation, and she with relish. About them was all the en- 
chantment of a perfect Kiyiera day. 

" No harm has been done," said the Frenchwoman. " She 
knows me only as Madame de Barvielle." 

" Which is not your name/' said the Colonel, lighting a 

"And society knows me as the Baroness Blanche de 

" Which is," said the Colonel, blowing out the match. She 
looked at him askanse, and tambourined her cream-gloved fin- 
gers against her crimson fan. 

" The whole business has been d d unlucky," repeated 

the Colonel. 

"I cannot see it in that light. 'No correspondence! No 
recriminations! No objections! And just when you have 
made up your mind to abandon the idea, the young lady jumps 
into your arms." 

The Colonel rose, flicked the ashes from his coat and leant 
with his back against the parapet. 

" The young lady is here, and the money is in Holland," he 

She turned suddenly from her abstracted watching of the 
wounded pigeons. " What do you mean ? " she asked. 

He answered her with a yawn. " I don't want to talk about 
money," he objected. " You know I hate talking about money." 

" I like it," she answered. " What I detest talking about is 
bills. Lewis, I wish you would tell me exactly how matters 

"Exactly? — dear soul, what an awful word! This bright 


sunshine and cold wind are treacherous. There isn't really any- 
thing worth telling. Come, let us go into the Rooms." 

She caught hold of him, unceremoniously, by the coattail. 
" Do not be disagreeable," she said. " Sit down and explain." 

The Colonel sank back obediently. " Once — it was twenty 
years ago," he remarked, " I remember a woman said to me that 
I could not be disagreeable — to her." 

"What sort of a woman? Was she fair or dark? Was she 
like me ? " questioned Blanche with much interest. 

" My dear, I— forget." 

"Ah, how like a man!" She struck her fan across her 

" No, I will be frank with you; I remember — ^too well. Let 
me see : what can you possibly want explained ? When my poor 
wife died — dear me, that is even more than twenty years ago! 
— she left property worth five thousand a year to our daughter, 
of which one-fifth was settled in lifelong usufruct on myself. 
Have you any idea what is meant by usufruct ? " 

" Of course : you've got no capital, but a thousand a year 
till you die." 

The Colonel sighed. " I suppose that is legally correct," he 
said, " yet I think you might have put it more prettily." His 
eyes wandered up to the cloudless heavens. "And there are 
people who say that women have no aptitude for afpairs ! Well, 
according to Dutch law, I enjoyed my daughter's whole income 
until she was twenty." 

" Why twenty? " asked Madame. 

"Do not ask me. The absurdest things always happen to 
you as soon as you come into contact with legislation. There 
is no giddier distraction than the chase after sense in the head 
of a lawyer. But it is exhausting. I have never seriously tried 
it. A person at Brodryck whom Dolly calls * uncle Tony,' sends 
me occasional parcels of lawyers' stuff." 

" Which you read ? " cried the Baroness. 

"How should I? They're all in 'Double Dutch." He 
yawned. "But of course, as soon as Dolly comes of age, her 
fortune is entirely her own. Do you happen to have some 
cigarettes about you? " 

She gave him her little gold case. 

"What did you do with all that money all those years?" 
she asked suddenly. 

He stopped, in the very act of extracting a cigarette. " My 
dear Blanche," he said, "surely you realize that the whole of 


this absurd conversation is in the worst possible taste? '' 

"Well, you spent it I It is gone. For one year you have 
had to do without it. Never mind. She has now come of age; 
she has come to you, and you have got it all back again.'' 

"How clearly you put things I" said the Colonel, gazing 
away at azure immensities of sea. 

" Mind you keep it. She'll marry, and you'll lose it again. 

"Even unpleasant things," added the Colonel sweetly. 

" Any man less a sloven than you," continued Madame with 
swift vehemence, "would have claimed from the first the care 
of his own daughter's fortune ! " 

"And of his daughter?" inquired the Colonel, turning 
curiously, " or of the fortune only? Dear me, it hardly matters. 
These things, you see, are done with." 

" But you preferred to rove about savage continents, getting 
yourself woimded in search of stupid medals ^" 

" Do not trouble to allude to my medals," interrupted Sand- 
ring, with a marked change of tone. 

"Wasting diamond bangles on nigger ^" 

" What a bad shot I " cried Sandring, as a pigeon flew away. 
" Some i>eople are so clumsy about bringing down their birds ! " 

He sat gazing mildly in front of him, then, all of a sudden, 
he looked round at her, with laughter that rippled and rang. 

"Sold! "he cried. 

"What on earth do you mean?" demanded the Baroness, 

" Dolly isn't of age. They take two years more to arrive at 
maturity in Holland." 

" Diable ! " said the Baroness, and added, after some seconds : 
" There is use, then, nevertheless, in looking at lawyers' papers." 

" On the contrary, I am glad of my ignorance. Had I known, 
I should have hesitated about asking my charming daughter to 
share my poverty, and should have missed the most delightful 
acquaintance I ever made in my life." 

"At least, you will now look at the man's accounts? Per- 
haps he is robbing you!" 

"Nonsense. People don't steal money. They cheat and 
they pilfer, but nobody hardly takes cash. Did you ever meet 
with any one who had taken cash ? " 

"I don't remember," said the Baroness uncomfortably. 

"I never did; but then, I have no friends on the Stock 
Exchange. Burglary and picking pockets are just various forms 
of sport." 


"WeU, but what do you intend to live on?" she demanded. 

" More debts. There is nothing easier, once you get started* 
Seriously, however, I dare say we shall rub on all right." 

Madame looked at him for a moment with very kindly scorn. 

** They can't let her starve, you know," continued the Colonel. 
" Uncle Tony must send me at least a thousand for her keep. 
That's what I let them have, all the years she was at Brodryck. 
Why, she'll want that in dresses I You'd say so, if you saw what 
she's got on. But, I beg of you, do not let us make my daughter 
a subject for any more financial — conversations. Her money 
is her own. I refuse to bother about it in any way. I sha'n't 
even ask for an allowance. I detest asking." He pushed his 
cane into the gravel, and dug it to and fro. 

** You can't manage," said Madame. 

*' Pooh, an old soldier I " 

" Who has always lived on his pay ! " she cried, laughing. 

" Besides, I need less money nowadays, I am growing old." 

*' You are five and forty." 

** Do you speak in cruelty or in kindness ? " 

" I speak in resignation and in hope. But there is one thing 
you forget. Beady money is required at the tables. And what 
is a thousand pounds to a man so unlucky as you ? " 

" Just now you were calling me lucky," protested the Colonel. 

" It was when I believed you the fortunate possessor of five 
thousand a year. 

" And a daughter." 

" True, I had forgotten the daughter." 

Colonel Sandring smiled. The lady began to pace to and fro 
along the balustrade. Then, stopping in front of him — 

" It is the psychological moment," she said, " for the appari- 
tion of Pini." 

The Colonel waited, disliking riddles. Besides, he says, if 
a woman is fond of asking them, she n^ver can keep back the 

" You remember Pini, my Italian, who runs all my errands ? 
I have had him for twenty years — ahem, ten. The brave Gari- 
baldi an — ^you remember him how ? He adores me ! " 

" You have many adorers," replied the Colonel. " Still, I 
think I can recall a rather deprecatory gentleman of shabby- 
distinguished appearance — at Spa. Had he waxed moustaches ?" 

" He had." 

" Then I remember him," said the Colonel decidedly, " for 
they were the waxedest I ever saw. What of him ? " 


"He is here, giving lessons which nobody takes. He has 
a system." 

" For teaching Italian? " 

"For winning at the tables." 

"Poor fellow I" said the Colonel. 

" No, it appears that it succeeds." 

" Did he tell you that ? Oh, fie, for shame I " said the Colonel. 

" It is based on a sort of inverted martingale." She spoke 
with much conviction, and the smiling Colonel listened, as any 
gambler would. " Never double your losses : always double your 
gains. He must explain it to you himself. All he wants is 

" Ah, yes," said the Colonel gently. Both of them allowed 
their eyes to wander away to the incessantly falling pigeons, the 
monotonously monstrous Bang! But neither noticed the shots 
and the flutterings : you do not at Monte Carlo, unless you wish 
to: besides, these were thinking of yet larger slaughterings, 
more shameless and silly destruction still. 

" A system," said the Colonel, " is a mathematical impossi- 
bility. Yet, whenever one is invented, you are asked to believe 
— in proof of its efficacy — ^that its possessor needs capital." 

She flung open her fan. "Do not speak to me of mathe- 
matical impossibilities," she cried. "You have often told me 
you were never able to do a sum in your life. Besides, it is 
always the impossible that happens. You must see Pini. We 
cannot be paupers, you and I." 

The ColoneFs big yawn had a touch of affectation in it. 
" We cannot be thirsty, you and I : let lis go and have some tea. 
Signor Pini's system will wait. I promised my daughter to be 
back to dinner at Nice." 

" Does she never want to come here ? " 

" Never. She believes the place is some unmentionable 
palace of wickedness, a gambling hell, or worse. Somebody 
has told her : not I. She thinks I go to Monaco, for sport." 

Madame de Fleuryse laughed shrilly, looking still towards 
the smiling seascape. Then she said, in low, ringing accents: 
" She is right. This girl of yours is a good girl, do you know? 
She is better than you or I. As for us, nous nous valons." 

" You flatter me," replied the Colonel, a little uneasily. 

" And therefore the sooner she gets rid of us the better. For 
her sake and our own. Lewis, as for once in your life you have 
consented to talk business, how about your promise to me ? " 


** My dear Blanche, I never make promises. One sometimes 
has to keep them." 

" Promise or not, you know very well what I mean." 

" Wait till your Italian has brought you a fortune — ^you will 
not remind a poor beggar like me of any promises then." 

He had risen : she would not look at his face, playing quickly 
with her fan. 

" Above all, I beseech of you, do not let us worry each other. 
As long as my daughter remains unmarried, there can be no 
question of such a step on my part." 

"Ah I "she said. 

"Surely you would not expect me to do the child such 

" It is unnecessary to — emphasize." She turned to look at 
him then. " You mean this — positively ? " 

" It is difficult to know if one ever ' means ' anything, but, 
yes, certainly, I think I may say I mean this." 

" I thank you for telling me plainly. Your daughter, then, 
henceforth, becomes a charming — ^bore I " The Baroness de 
Fleuryse sailed up the grreat, wide esplanade, in all the bright- 
ness of sunshine, and flowers and brilliant dresses : she held her 
head high : determination sat on her bold, false front and ruffled 

She had not gone many steps before she met someone she 
recognized. It would be difficult to do otherwise on the terrace 
at Monte Carlo. 

"Lord Archibald Foyel" she exclaimed, and held out her 

The young man thus addressed, who was dawdling by the 
newspaper kiosque, unwillingly removed his eyes from a flaring 
drawing (and joke) in Le Rire. He was small, fair and freckled, 
smart-looking, one of those modem young men that are made 
by the dozen, well-bom, well-dressed, well — nothing else. 

" So I have always been told," he answered demurely. He 
put on a comic little quiver of his sandy eyelashes which made 
him look funny, even when saying the stupidest things. " I 
am awfully glad to see you," he added as an afterthought. 

" You have not the faintest conception who I am." 

" Well, when I know, I shall be all the gladder." 

She laughed. " The Baroness Blanche de Fleuryse. I met 
you, a couple of years ago, in Paris with Colonel Sandring. 

" Ah yes, just so — Sandring. How is Sandring ? I haven't 
heard of him for years. Not dead, I hope ? " 


"No, indeed," replied the Baroness shuddering. "Why, 
pray, should he be dead ? " 

" Oh, I don't know. But I like to think people aren't dead. 
I remember now perfectly meeting you — ^Baroness." 

She noticed his slight stumble over the title and rapidly 
answered: "It was at the house of my cousin, the Count di 
Casa Profonda." 

" Exactly," said Archibald, repressing a grin. " Sandring 
hasn't shown in England for years. He's been all sorts of queer 
things in all sorts of places. I believe he is some kind of con- 
nection of ours." 

" Colonel SandHng never speaks of his relations," replied 
the lady, "which is unusual, considering he is English, and 
they are — ^noble." 

The young man flushed. At his birth the benevolent fairy 
had conferred on him an ample supply of good nature, but the 
wicked fairy, by her bestowal of tactlessness, had almost an- 
nulled the value of the gift. "That's a nasty one," he said, 
" but I forgive you. Look at this," he continued, pointing to the 
caricature, " isn't it good ? " He shouted with fresh laughter 
over the customary husband and ballet-girl, then he went round 
to the pigeon-hole and put down a penny before the astonished 
old woman inside. " It's mean, I think, laughing at her papers 
and not paying her," he said. " And it's no use my buying their 
old Punches: I get a headache trying to worry out the jokes." 

"If you like, I Will translate them to you," suggested the 
kind-hearted Baroness. 

" Now, that's awfully good of you," replied the young man 
warmly. " Do you know, I think — ^by Jove, that's an idea ! I 
shall be grateful to you all my life for having suggested it. 
It's the egg of Columbus, by Jove I " He sat down on the near- 
est seat under pressure of his emotions. " You know the egg of 
Columbus ? " he said. 

" I do," replied the Baroness. " It is stale." 

"That's the nuisance I" remarked Archibald, shaking his 
head. " You never can be sure, when you start telling a story, 
whether the person you're telling it to has heard it before. And 
yet all the difference between a bad story and a good one lies 
in the fact of the person having heard it before. Not that I 
go in for stories. My — ^what d'ye call it? — speciality's jokes. 
Look here, shall I tell you about my collection ? I haven't b^en 
able to tell anyone for a week. Eoden — that's a fellow up at 
the * Parry ' — says he hates puns." 


" I love them," said the Baroness, sitting down also. After 
all, a lord is a lord, especially at Monte Carlo. There were a 
good many x)eople on the terrace. 

" You're not afraid of a man with a hobby ? " continued the 
engaging youth. 

" On the contrary, I think he is positively refreshing. In 
these days everybody has only fads." 

" Oh ! " replied Archie suspiciously. " I suppose that's 
clever! Well, never mind. But, do you know, I've the finest 
collection of jest books and comic annuals and funny books of 
all kinds in England. I began it at Oxford. I've got more than 
four thousand numbers in my catalogrue — four thousand three 
hundred and seventy-three, up to yesterday. It's largely mod- 
em : I don't go in for history much : their pictures are so poor, 
and our ancestors didn't seem to have much idea what a real 
good joke was. My tutor at Oxford tried to get me to look at 
an old Latin chap called Microbius — ^all the puns of the ancient 
Eonians in a bushel — ^but, dear me, it was awfully slow ! Do you 
like Joe Millers?" 

" I have never met him," answered the Baroness, whose eyes 
were wandering. 

Young Lord Archibald screamed with laughter. " Oh, I 
say," he cried, " that's better than Columbus I Well, talking of 
my collection, the pity is, one can't carry it about with one. 
When a fellow's in the diunps, you couldn't imagine the comfort 
it is to go in and have a look at the lot — ^why, just reading the 
titles is better than a brandy and soda ! " His voice sank to a 
note of true feeling. He sighed. 

" It can't be helped," he said. " I haven't got money enough 
to live in England." 

** What you want is a rich wife ! " said the Baroness briskly. 

A swift twinkle sprang into Lord Archie's small eyes. " Yes, 
indeed ! " he said. 

" I know just the wife to suit you," continued the French- 
woman. Love and money-making forming the entire complexus 
of her being, she imagined them to be everybody's ever-present 
occupation. Dorothea, having brought no fortune with her, 
must be got rid of at once, for the Baroness, who had reckoned 
on obtaining an immediate slice of the Brodryck property, as a 
sort of composition, was bent on marrying the Colonel, rich or 
poor, and dreaded every hour of delay. 

"Do tell me about her," said Archie, twinkling more and 



" She is young, handsome, charming, rich. And she is, what 
you yoimg men like in marriage, very good. Your cousin, Miss 

" Sunday School," replied Archie. " I'm afraid she wouldn't 
do for a reprobate like me." 

Madame bit her stupid lips. ^^ That is so like you English," 
she cried. " You cannot imagine a woman being good, but at 
once you must make her devote. A Frenchwoman can go in the 
morning to mass, and spend her evening happily at the Folies 

"Does Miss Sandring spend her evenings at the Folies 
Bergere ? " inquired Archie. " Well, you've given me her good 
points. What are her faults ? " 

" You speak of the yoimg lady as if you were buying a horse, 
my lord." 

Archie, like all practical jokers, detested being snubbed. 
He got up. " That's Sandring at the other end," he said, " is it 
not? The jolly-looking chap in the tweeds. Let's go and ask 
him to give me his daughter." 

Colonel Sandring expressed no satisfaction at sight of his 
young relative, but he offered him a cigarette. He could not do 
less for any man. 

" You must present me to your daughter," said Lord Archi- 
bald presently. " The Baroness tells me she is charming." 

Colonel Sandring lazily drooped his eyelashes towards 
Madame Blanche de Fleuryse. 

" The Baroness was even so flattering to me as to suggest 
that I might aspire to the honor of Miss Sandring's hand." 
Archie's face was pretematurally solemn. "How clumsy he 
is I " thought the Baroness. The Colonel's eyelids closed still 

" On my side there could only be one difficulty, but it's rather 
an awkward one, isn't it, Sandring? You see, madame, I've 
been married for a couple of years I " 

" Idiot ! " said Madame's large, eipressive eyes, but her lips 
spake gently: "Well, mine was, in itself, a most excellent 
combination, for what, after all, do you English seek in mar- 
riage but to buy money and sell rank ? " Thereupon she marched 
away, with the honors of war. 

Archie ran after her. "I say. Baroness," he cried, "you 
don't mind my using your two jokes in my collection ? " 

" What jokes ? " demanded Blanche, flaring round. 

" The stale egg and Joe Millers," replied my lord, unabashed. 


^ I'm making an absolutely original book for publication. No 
joke goes in that's been published before. You can't think what 
a lot it takes of — ^what d'ye call it? — collating." 

" You are welcome to my poor contribution," said the 
Baroness with magnificent disdain. 

" You — ^you're quite sure they're your own ? " 

The Baroness vouchsafed no reply, but sailed off. 

" Yes, women are devilish ticklish to handle," said the 
Colonel, as Archie came back to him. 

" Do you think so ? I have always found them quite easy," 
replied the young man. 

" No, I didn't laugh," answered Sandring. Archibald stared 
at him. 

" Is Lady Archibald with you ?" 

" Oh, yes, we've never been separated a day since our mar- 
riage. We simply adore one another/' 

The adverb greatly pleased the Colonel, but he said nothing 
at all. 

"We're staying at the 'Parry.' There are some awfully 
jolly people at the 'Parry' — two Germans, for instance, an 
uncle and nephew called Roden. Why don't you come and 
stay at the 'Parry'?" 

" My daughter prefers Nice. I remember meeting a General 
von Roden at the autiunn manoeuvres." 

" Why, that must be young Roden's father — ^he's up at 
Cimiez with his womenkind, ill. Fancy your knowing them I 
I wasn't aware you were an English colonel, Sandring." 

"Nor am I," replied Sandring shortly. "I sold out as 
captain, and went where a man is a man and not somebody's 
nephew. The Roden I speak of was brother to Count Roden- 

" That's the fellow, the uncle — Egon calls him ' the Head.' 
They're heavy swells, I believe, in their part of the world." 

" There spoke the son of the English marquis, both in the 
admission and in the limitation. They are swells, my dear 
child, all the world over. Does that matter much?" 

"You needn't chaff me," said Archie. 

"On the contrary. Your view is my own. An English 
aristocrat is the noblest work of God. Second-best, though a 
long way behind, comes a foreign ditto. By the way, did you 
ever see an Eastern beggar?" 

" I say, it's a beastly shame your going on calling me a snob 
like this I" cried Archie with burning cheeks, "when you're 


aware that I married a foreigner, and she not a swell. Heaven 
knows !" 

The Colonel's brown face grew darker also. "Do you 
know/' he said frankly, " you are right ; I am wrong. Some- 
thing you said just now vexed me ; and I stupidly hit back. All 
my stock of wisdom consists of half a dozen maxims that I 
haven't even the wit to remember when I need them." 

"Well, you see," replied Archibald, immediately mollified, 
"I'm a lot of things I ought not to be, but I really am not & 
snob. And the Baroness has been riling me, too." 

"Live outside a society you used to belong to, and you're 
bound to abuse it," said the Colonel, still with the same calm 
frankness. "But I shall have to alter my ways just a little 
now, for my daughter's sake, if I can. I think I might call 
on the General." 

" That is young Roden over there with my wife ; let us go 
and speak to them," suggested Archie charitably. 

"The Colonel, as they strolled across, looked down on his 
innocent companion with a shade of self-reproach. For, 
indeed, every one (inside England) knows what Lord Archibald 
had been and gone and done a couple of years ago at Kissingen. 
How he had pleasantly diversified the monotony of his mother's 
gout-cure there, by running away on his twenty-first birthday 
with a little German waitress whose position he immediately 
legalized in the teeth of — everybody. Archibald had always 
been a good boy; his mother had loved him; his governess had 
kissed him ; his friends at Oxford had called him " The Vestal." 
He had early shown a weakness for apple-pie beds and booby 
traps and cobblers' wax, but nobody had ever expected such a 
practical joke as this I Every one (in England) knows what 
sort of a liver Lord Brassingham was. We can understand 
his fury : he allows his fourth son a few hundreds a year, which 
the latter spends abroad. 

The Colonel enveloped Lady Archibald in one of those rapid 
long glances of his which seemed to have looked you all over 
before you could say he had stared at you. Her pearly pink- 
ness was just of the kind which, especially in a waitress, would 
naturally suggest Hebe to young twenty-one. She was golden- 
haired, plump, fluffy, dimpled, and she had a loud, jolly laugh. 
The Colonel immediately saw her at forty, and he felt a humane 
satisfaction that, his youthful connection would never be found 


among the prophets, in fact could by no means be got to see 
farther than the length of his very short nose. 

" This," said Archie, " is Herr von Roden." 

" You are very like your father," said the Colonel. " In the 
army, I suppose, like him?" — ^for the young German's military 
shoulders seemed naturally to suggest the remark. 

" No, I am not in the army ; I am glad you think me like 
my father," replied the German in a foreigner's careful English. 
The Colonel perceived on the Foyes' good-natured faces that 
somehow he must have committed some very dreadful blunder. 
He smiled to himself ; he was hardened against social blunders, 
but the next moment, as they all moved towards the restaurant, 
the smile gave way to a stab of pain, for he saw that' the stalwart 
German limped. 

" I am quite sure the Lord General also — he must be charm- 
ing," declared the high-pitched voice of Lady Archibald. 
"Archie said, only this morning, this young Herr von Koden 
is a tile!" 

Von Roden, on in front with the husband, did not turn, but 
Archibald stopped and roared. " She means * brick ' !" cried 
Archibald. " Oh, Dickie, you idiot, don't you remember when 
the old Count's hat blew off the other day, I told you he had 
a tile loose, and you went and told him!" 

"Archibald, you do this thing of purpose; of purpose you 
hold me for a fool," cried his noble consort wrathf uUy. Her 
accent was atrocious. The Colonel saw at once that, lost in 
the mysteries of German etiquette, not knowing how to behave, 
the young waitress had wisely resolved not to behave at all. 
Also he soon remarked that her admiration for her compatriot 
was not merely a tribute of the lips; and he wondered if this 
young Teuton was the sort of man who likes a woman to say 
he is charming. Few of us do, though all of us like her to be 

" If you do this thing again," continued Lady Archibald, 
"I will not translate to you the Fliegende Blaetter when they 

" Don't be nasty," replied her spouse — ^his formula for 
settling all conjugal disputes. They sat down to tea at one 
of the little tables on the square, and presently the Colonel rose 
to depart, Archie offering to see him to the station. 

" Go see the Lord General I" my lady cried after Sandring. 
" Tell him we retain here his son as our prisoner of war I" 

"Don't you tell her, for Heaven's sake," gasped Archie, 


"about the Lord General I You can't think what an hourly 
delight he is to me. Fm teaching her English — ^by Jove, you 
would laugh — but she's found out the Lord General all for her- 

" I should be loth," replied the Colonel gravely, " to deprive 
any living creature of the faintest amusement. Still, I 
shouldn't make too much fun, if I were you, of that young Ger- 
man's relations. He doesn't look as if he'd take it kindly. 
Germans have such odd ways of receiving an insult — at the 
sword's point." 

" Oh, Egon's a tile," replied Archie. 

"Yes, you are our prisoner of war," said Lady Archibald, 
lapsing at once into her own vernacular and turning on von 
Koden the full battery of her forget-me-not eyes. 

Von Koden smiled. "A willing prisoner," he answered, 
"unarmed and harmless. The position is inglorious and 

Lady Archibald frowned. " Ah, you have not forgotten our 
conversation of last night," she said. "I told you last night 
that my ideal hero was a conqueror who had never known 

"I admire your ideals from a distance, Meine Gnaedigste. 
I am not a soldier, as the English Colonel has just inadver- 
tently reminded us. I have never known attack, and have 
therefore never known defeat." 

She rose at once, with a great clanging of cups on the table. 
" How chilly it is !" she said. " See me across to the hotel." 
As they threaded their way amongst the crowd. Lord Archibald's 
loud little figure came in sight, twisting down through the gar- 
dens with the Colonel. 

" Poor Archie I" said my lady. 

" Surely you are mistaken ; he is the happiest of men." 

"Is he? I hope so. But happiness is very monotonous. 
I? — I have boundless capacities for enjoyment. Life is so 
short; to me it seems criminal to let one chance of pleasure 

" You cannot possibly be unhappy," he answered. 

"Unhappy? ^No — ^you talk as if I were an applicant for 
poor relief. But I might have a great deal more enjoyment. 
So might all of us, if men were not such fools," 

" They are fools ; there is no more to be said." 

She stood still, by the wide hotel steps. "When I was a 


little girl at our village school," she said, " we learnt a little 
poem — ^I believe all children learn it — about a forget-me-not on 
the top of a wall and a violet at the bottom, that cried because 
they couldn't meet. Do you remember?" 


" A boy came along and picked them both, and bound them 
to a posy. One of those boys they call Cupids, I suppose. Tt 
was a stupid little poem." She looked up at him, with her 
saucy light eyes, her golden head haloed in her white parasol. 

" The forget-me-not is a beautiful flower," he said, gazing 
straight into her own pallid depths of blue, " but it never would 
match with the violet." 

" As a matter of fact, I detest violets," answered Lady Archi- 
bald quickly. 

" They are a feminine bloom," he answered boldly, and made 
her a stiff German salute, and ran, limping, away. He amazed 
Archie by going up to him in the gardens and absurdly gripping 
his hand. 

** What have you done with my wife ?" demanded Archie. 

" Left her," replied Egon, " at the hotel." 

" I say, doesn't she look awfully fetching in that pale blue 
gown ?" 

"What is * fetching'?" 

Archie stared at his companion. "You wait till you're 
fetched," he said. 

Colonel Sandring, eager to tell Dorothea of these new 
acquaintances, found her busy over home letters and letters 

"I have been telling them how good you are to me," she 
said, " how happy I am ! They need not be afraid I shall want 
for kindness and care." 

" Tut, tut," said the Colonel. " Give them my love, and 
Em and Doll. I should like to see those cats." 

" Em and Doll are uncle Tony's dogs," she answered, laugh- 
ing. " I've been writing to Mark Lester about my Christmas 

" Oh," he said. " Well, this young Roden I was telling you 
about seems a very nice young chap. I remember greatly liking 
his father, an excellent type of high-class German. And just 
the sort of man to have a charming wife. This son looks very 
much like him." 

" What sort of man has a charming wife, father?" 

" A very nice fellow, or a brute. Not that I ever knew a 


man fully good enough to merit a good wife, or one bad enough 
to quite deserve a bad one." 

Dorothea laughed again, but when, many years after, she 
first recalled her father's words, and first understood them, it 
was through the same man in connection with whom she had 
heard them originally uttered — Egon Treuhart von Eoden. 


Henceforth the story of Egon Eoden blends with the story 
of Dorothea Sandring. 

Thus, suddenly, in the boundless, cloud-filled heavens, two 
small specks, sailing none knew whither, meet, intermingle, and 
can never separate again. 

Every one who has been to Nice knows, by sight at least, the 
Villa Buonarotti, that used to be, and perhaps still is, the prop- 
erty of the Prussian Count Kiesenthal. It stands half-way 
up the Cimiez hill, on a terrace, in a great wide spread of 
luxuriant olives, half -hidden at equal distance from the old road 
and the new. A long pink house with flat roofs and fancy para- 
I)ets, and innumerable green shutters, big or little — one of those 
up and down Italian villas, whose gaudy porticoes and loggias 
suit the golden southern landscape as no modem brick or stucco 
palaces can ever aspire to do. There was a time, not a dozen 
brief years ago, when the leafy solitudes of the lovely hill of 
Cimiez afforded shelter to many thousand singing birds, and 
also to a few score favored strangers who had perched secluded 
nests between the olives, where they too could dwell in quietness 
among God's beasts and flowers. Occasionally, perhaps, as you 
wandered along the rippling rivulets that babbled to themselves 
in idly listening glades, or turned swiftly up crooked paths that 
drew you unconsciously higher, you would hear the tinkle of 
descending bells and come upon a swarthy countryman, thought- 
fully wending downwards beside his laden ass. In those times 
they still g&Ye you good-day, as they passed on their way among 
the oil trees. And even if they who disturbed your solitary 
musings were tourists that had ridden up to see the lofty con- 
vent, or picnic in the Roman ruins — if these passed you on 
their solemn donkeys, with discordant screams of laughter — 
well, it was only a moment's sight of pretty English faces and 
a ring of happy voices — ^the solitude seemed all the sweeter when 
that vision of Mce hotels had died away into the depths. To- 
day all these things are abundantly changed. The trees have 
been cut down; the sensible birds are fled. Up the naked hill- 
side stretches, wide and white and bare, in a glitter of scorching 



sun and a whirl of unresting dust, the great, the magnificent 
boulevard, flanked by modern building-monstrosities of every 
inventable northern unsuitability, loud with electrical trams and 
tooting imitation coaches, and hideous with the clang of whips. 
Up it goes, straight to the six-floor hotel at the top, the splendid 
Eegina Palace. In our days of middle-class supremacy, we dub 
our new lodging-houses " Palaces," that King Snob, for a guinea 
a day, may fancy himself to possess some few gilded inches of 
royalty. And, indeed, 'tis an excellent plan, affording much 
innocent gratification; so we stamp the hotel sheets and candle- 
sticks with the same royal cipher and coronet, that King Snob, 
as he sinks to his slumbers, may dream that he snores (like his 
constitutional compeers) on a throne. 

Prince 'Arry and Princess 'Arriet, had they accidentally 
strolled in those far-away days to the gates of the Villa Buona- 
rotti, would certainly have turned back in contempt. The 
widely straggling garden, grey untidiness, flower-bespangled 
under dark green cypress and palm trees, bespoke not the plen- 
tiful wage of the artificer, nor the medals of the show-loving 
tradesmen, retired. Its beauties had been largely left to 
Nature, in a country where !N'ature has not lost her free hand. 
Great blossoms of scarlet geranium, against leaves every shade 
of green, russet and golden, spread, heavily massed, down the 
dusty stone walls. The banksia and the misteria, interwoven, 
covered one whole south front of the stables, hanging like a 
wonderdful Eastern embroidery of lilac and yellow. A little 
beyond Crimson, Eambler and Eglantine roses flung their 
clear strains of color against the dark pall of the ivy; in the 
garden itself, starred narcissus and shiny jonquils, soft iris and 
blazing anemone, bloomed, self-sown, anyhow, in patches, under 
the benevolence of God. At the back, almost hidden from the 
road, lay the house, with the steep olive orchards rising behind 

When Count Riesenthal lent this villa to his old friend and 
comrade, General von Roden, suddenly invalided, he could not 
have chosen a fitter tenant for the place. " It is absolutely 
perfect," cried the whole family on arriving, a verdict they 
would scarcely have hit upon, had the owner repainted the walls 
to receive them. 

And the Rodens were judges of beauty. All their lives long 
they had submitted to its influence, developed in its atmosphere. 
Justus von Roden, the father, the General, was a practical 
philosopher, a disciple of Goethe: with open eyes and calm 


resolve, his own lofty soul had accepted in his youth the theory 
of the unity on earth of the good, the true and the beautiful 
in perfect harmony of matter and mind. If goodness, then, was 
a source, inevitable, of beauty: beauty as certainly brought 
forth good. It is told of Goethe that, as a little child, he was 
once found weeping bitterly, and could give no other explana- 
tion of his grief than the ugliness of the little girl he had been 
desired to play with. Such almost physical suffering from 
deformity, such passionate need of symetric development, have 
nothing in common with art twaddle and sesthetic pose, of both 
which, in fact, they soon become the natural negation. The 
classic up-building of the outer and inner temple mercilessly 
demands the excision of many excrescences dear to the heart 
of the amateur self -decorator. Goethe has been called the great 
modem pagan. Every such effacement of history is of course 
a psychologic absurdity, which contains an indication of sense. 
The student gazed from afar at the greatness of the master, and 
struggled to absorb a reflected portion of it into his blood. As 
far as is possible in an up-to-date cavalry officer, the soul of 
Justus von Roden was the soul of an ancient Greek. 

He had entered the army as a matter of course, and had 
given himself, body and soul, to the love of his profession. He 
had suffered, unconsciously, for his unspoken creed. His brother 
had got him the post of adjutant to a blackguard royal highness, 
and Justus had declined the honor. Count Roden-Rheyna 
protested. "Why, 'his whole life is filled up with courtesans I 
cried Justus. " I couldn't live in an atmosphere as disgusting 
as that I " The elder brother smiled; "Justus, you are a wise 
fool," he said, and left him. 

But the courtier let fall the adjective when Justus refused 
to be wed to a wealthy cousin, simply because she was plain, 
and married a beautiful little woman whom he loved to distrac- 
tion. It took some time before the Count, a cheerful cynic, 
compelled by what he saw of his sister-in-law's household, once 
more picked up the qualification and af&xed it to his estimate 
of her husband's visible folly. Wise fool or not, Justus 
undoubtedly succeeded, both objectively and subjectively, in 
life, and the titles of " Don Quixote," which his brother cadets, 
and "Bayard," which his brother subalterns had bestowed on 
him, began to look out of place in the sedate prosperity of his 
later career. Chivalry and courage are not things a man's 
character ever loses, but they sink back with time, like a melting 
boss of metal, and silently cover the whole. He became com- 


manding officer of a crack regiment, one of the best. His 
superiors knew him to be an excellent soldier; their only objec- 
tion to him, in his lofty position, was that he might have been 
a little better acquainted with the young life of garrison towns. 
His officers said he was a firm disciplinarian, but a man who 
could always be taken in once by whoever chose to tell him a 
lie. A certain number of adversaries he had: they were the 
people who had speculated on his simplicity or on his kindness^ 
and whom he had found out. 

" Life is beautiful : God is good," said the Frau Generalin. 
That was all her philosophy, and it sounds exceedingly simple 
until you try it. True, she had not many clogs on her heaven- 
ward course. But sooner or later, the sudden upset comes to 
even the brightest admirers of the journey. It is picking-up 
time that we have to judge our soul's health by. 

Her children were strong, happy, and handsomer than most. 
They adored her as the light of their home. All her friends 
contradicted her contention that she was not made to shine in 
society. She avoided it for the not unusual reason that it 
clamored to possess her. She was a pretty, pleasant woman, 
whose touch left a lingering brightness on everything she passed. 
A superb musician also: perhaps it was on that account that, 
in all her quiet daily doings, she never seemed to strike a dis- 
cord. And her eyes had in them that silent helpfulness which 
causes a little child to nestle close. 

Ah, what a home ! Nothing of it is left now, so much the 
better I The house has been turned into a local museum : the 
rooms in which the Roden children laughed and played are bare 
and boring, with their whitewashed walls and hollow cases, con- 
taining skeletons and empty Eoman wine- jars and eyeless skulls. 
Nobody ever goes to look at them. 

From the pleasant, old-fashioned town of Bonn the broad, 
bright high-road to Coblence sweeps away, beside the most 
majestic river, to the distant hill which lifts aloft the ruined 
tower of Godesberg. On that stately high-road, in the line 
of rich men's mansions, a big, old-fashioned dwelling-house falls 
back behind a field of straggling fruit-trees — apricots and 
cherries — ^half -hidden in untidy foliage, midway towards the 
grey stretch of solemn water, with the haze of the Seven Moun- 
tains and Drachenfels beyond. All the poetry of the serious 
North, darker, browner, stronger, as the face of a man. The 
music, not of sun-lit cymbals or the singing love-guitar, but 
the tone of a church-built organ, slowly praising God. 


In this braver Arcady the Eoden children grew up to a love 
of all things lightly beautiful. Throughout the Ehineland sum- 
mer a peaceful Nature lapped them in loose content. Their 
garden, cool with radiant Northern verdure, sloped down to the 
sleepy river which curves here, in wide embrasure, like a lake. 
The farther shore called vaguely from the sun-mist; beyond, 
reposeful, filling the horizon, arose the gentle outlines of the 
hills. At any moment, when the glare of noon lay on the 
water, or when the purple shadows fell at sunset, the dabbling 
boat, awakened on the beach, might lure you down the garden- 
steps into an instant fairy-land. For there, immediate, within 
ten strokes of the eager oar, ten laughs of the rippling sail, 
hung around you, far and near, the never-dying romance of 
the German river; from the slopes and valleys, clothed with 
vine, the songs of a songful people echoed across the water; 
from rocks above and caves beneath came the answering music 
of the maidens whom all may hear, but none, would they live, 
must hope to see. At evening, in the solemn, star-lit silence, 
you could catch the glimmer of their locks, a distant dream, 
deep down in awe-struck haunts of stillness where the gleaming 
treasures lie, or far above on the watchful peaks where the old- 
time dragons lived and died. And you sing, in your gay young 
heart, of minstrels and knights, brave, simple, and loving, such 
as the shabby world will never behold again (yet, after all, 
father is very like them; you sing, in your golden glamor, 
you sing — ^till a throbbing steamboat rustles down the middle, 
laden with laughter, and brass-band blare, and shouting, that 
break the old-world spell. 

There were four Roden children. Egon, Gertrude, Konrad, 
and Karl. Of these Egon, the eldest, was most open to the 
impressions of Ehineland scenery and legend, healthy dreams 
and romance. Gertrude delighted her father by following him 
into the realms of exact science and investigation of Nature; 
chemistry, mathematical computations, the microscope. Kon- 
rad looked after himself, and Karl after numberless rabbits, 
pigeons, guinea-pigs, a menagerie of pets. 

In the winter, art gave more than Nature could withhold. 
The city whose chief glory is Beethoven has never neglected 
fittest homage to his name. At all its street comers flowed 
streams of purest melody: any that listed could gather to 
drink. To the open temple, of gloomy winter evenings, trudged 
the weary housewife, her needlework still in her hands. She 
settled herself in a quiet comer, and, while she worked, bar- 


monious thoughts swelled through her soul, as in a house of 
prayer. She sat through a symphony as through a sermon: 
only, she listened. And if lessons were done, the children went 
with her, paying a few pence for the lot. On rainy Sunday 
afternoons the statues, white against museum windows, seemed 
to beckon towards the gaping portals and tempt you to loiter 
between the gods and goddesses that are not dead, as the 
ignorant deem, but alive. Beauty was everywhere, not the 
least at home, in the home-loving music circle, beside father's 
two exquisite Correggios and the soft Claude Lorraine. Ah, 
the exquisite three pictures in the sitting-room, the daily 
delight! Ugliness also, of course, we well know to be co- 
existent, a lessening shadow — ^not, though some erroneously thus 
would conceive it, a growing eclipse of the sun! 

"It's all just an effect of light and shade," declared Roden; 
"Adam and Eve in Paradise must have felt rather stupidly 
happy without properly knowing why." 

" Go away, Justus ! " replied his wife, looking up from her 
busy preserve-making amongst her pink-armed hand-maidens. 
" All the trouble came of Eve's having nothing to do of morn- 
ings. Had she had Cain and Abel to wash and dress, inside 
Paradise, the whole family would never have found themselves 
outside. It's a mortal pity that the working in the sweat of the 
brow didn't come as a blessing; it would have kept off the 

The big officer laughed, and stood gazing tenderly at a 
flushed little tyrant, in frills. " All I can say is, I am glad we 
were turned out," he replied; "we want Paradise at the other 
end of life's journey." 

"Had Eve been a mother," persisted the little lady, "she 
would never have forgotten she was setting an example ! " 

The two maids had gone to fetch more baskets of bilberries, 
so he kissed her on the neck, just over the huge muslin bow 
of her apron. "You grow monotonous," he said, "with your 
all-pervading * example.' She set it, afterwards, to Cain, as 
well as to Abel! 

" * You can dad your child, or grieve it! 
You can nelp it or deceive it; 
When all's done 
Beneath God's sun, 
You can only love and leave it.' " 

" For a man who knows more poetry than any other officer 


in the King's army, Justus, you might vary your quotations 
more ! '* 

" Pooh I " replied Justus, " I have only one other: 

•• ' Mit Gott fur K6nig und Vaterland.' " 

Amongst these surroundings and teachings young Egon grew 
up. He went to the big Eoyal Grammar School with five hun- 
dred other boys, and learnt much Latin and Qreek, and still 
more Universal History. Also he skated and canoed and rode 
and did constant military gymnastics. Moreover, he spent most 
of his free time in sword exercise and reading i)oetry. In one 
word, his was the complete education — and very perfect it is 
— of the well-bom German " Gymnasiast." 

Nature had graced him with a simple heart, but of course 
he could not remain ignorant of the fact that he belonged to 
the proudest of Protestant aristocracies. "Never refer to it: 
never forget it," said Justus to his sons. He taught them many 
things. That every woman, for instance, was pure and good, 
unless in some rare instance a man had made her otherwise. 
Count Roden-Rheyna said that, really, Justus was not fit to have 
young men under him. 

You cannot forget the pride of birth amongst the King's 
Hussars. Nor can you believe yourself an ordinary mortal, if 
you go to spend an annual month with your uncle Charles at 
Kheyna. At that ancestral castle, a great, flat house, among 
great, flat fields, Count Roden passed his bachelor existence — 
or at least seven annual months of it — amongst the semi-feudal 
pomp to which he had been bom. The cheerful children, com- 
ing from the vine-clad Rhineland, saw the solemn Mark like 
a dream of Iron Fritz. Here was no Lorelei music, no bottled 
sunlight, no mountain background: here was stately Prussian 
strength, cold loftiness, wide space. The vast-fronted house, 
with its pillared entrance, was rococo, in clumsy curves and 
gables, lacking the easeful grace of the same French style : the 
furniture, full of large silk flowers, was rococo: the gardens 
were rococo, of the period when nymphs and naiads wore powder, 
well-born, not divine. The fountains and statues, greatly the 
worse for wear in that inclement climate, looked obtrusively 
unclothed beneath the grimy sky : the woods hung heavy : the 
fields sank dark. The country people, stumbling to their gaunt 
white churches, seemed carved out of ancient oak. Hearts and 
backs of oak, indeed : and hands that struck hard, but fair. An 
honest, straight-faced peasantry, with little thought for what 


is light or lovely. "They are fifty years behind 1" declared 
Justus. " Thank Heaven I " responded his brother, the courtier, 
who was very much up-to-date. 

Here, then, in this large domain of heath and farms and 
villages, the Roden children ruled, submissive only to their 
feudal lord and uncle, from under whose dread eyes you early 
slipped away. The villagers, the laborers, the school-lads, bent 
their sturdy necks, with steadfast front. In all things they 
obeyed their natural lords, except in things unnatural. 

It was Hans, the huntsman's son, who taught Egon that life- 
long lesson. Hans, the Junker's trusty henchman, comrade and 
familiar friend. Hans, who crept through all the weary winter 
months with vision fixed on that bright break in August. Hans, 
the sturdy, yellow-haired, red-cheeked peasant boy, who was all 
respectful attention before the master's front, and all reckless 
adventure behind it. Hans, who was never known to hang back 
from a jump, or a climb, or any sort of danger; who never 
said " he'd rather not," like Egon's brother, Konrad. Countless 
were the scrapes and sports and good services of Hans. He 
knew everything that any sensible creature would care to know. 
He was strong as a lion, and faithful as a sheepdog, and no boy 
in all the universe could do with his hands what Hans did (with 
or without the aid of his old clasp-knife). On the evening when 
that long-sufFering blade snapx)ed across, Egon walked home in 
sadness: desolation lay over the trees and the hedges: he felt 
that a power had gone out of the world. 

But the resources of Hans were endless, and Egon put faith 
in them. Even knifeless, Hans was stronger, braver, ay, and 
wiser, than all the knived knaves of, Christendom — once you 
believed in him fully, he was bound to prove, however things 
might seem to turn against him, right in his opinion, straight 
in his conclusions, true in his advice. At the age of twelve he 
had flung himself into the mere one day and extracted the 
helpless Egon (aged ten). A year before that he had taken, 
unasked, a thrashing for the murder of chickens whom Egon's 
pop-gun had slain. He had presented his tame raven to Egon, 
on the day of the latter's departure, and Egon had forgotten to 
give the bird water, and it died. Egon had written an unvar- 
nished confession, and Hans had forgiven.' There were many 
brave heroes in history and legend to whom Egon's warm 
impulses vowed changeful admiration, but steadfast was the 
glory of Hans. For who could do justice to his infinite variety? 


Tlnconsciously the soul of the public-schoolboy knit itself into 
that of the keeper's son. 

Was it, then, not a ** shrieking shame/' as the Eoden children 
would have called it, suddenly to find things altered one summer, 
and Hans at work in the stables ? Had £gon not written twice 
in the spring about his fishing-tackle, and the new rod, and 
what bait he had better order from London? And here was 
a youth of fifteen, with an air of insufferable importance, red 
and perspiring, day after day, over bits of bright metal and 
harness ! 

In that long, lovely August there came a loveliest morning, 
when the thing could no longer be endured. Across the big 
grey courtyard, with its slants of splendid sunlight, a few 
pigeons strutted, lazily pecking ; the white peacocks, great foun- 
tains of silver, preened their feathers on the terrace. The 
call of birds was everywhere : the leaves of the mighty chestnuts 
thrilled with warmth and happiness. All Nature was an 
immense invitation to come forth. 

Hans stood at work in the coach-house door ; you could hear 
his bright whistle across the yard. Egon, who had been 
dawdling about, and pulling the dogs' tails, suddenly marched 
•up to him. 

" Look here, Hans, you promised," he said in accents full of 

" Yes, Junker? " There was a slight touch of interrogation 
in the voice, a faint asking for further information, which 
sounded maddening. 

" You did : it's a beastly shame. I shouldn't have bought 
this tackle if I'd known." And he held out his fishing things : 
the delightful contemplation of many slow hours at school. 

" Yes, but you see, I've been put into the stables, and " 

" Hang it all, I know that, but still " 

" And coachman says, please. Junker, the last boy (that's 
Friedrich Putz) was turned away for playing truant." 

" Are you coming, or are you not ?" How temptingly the 
white sun laughed down across the castle courtyard! How 
cool it would be in the Nether Wood, beneath the weeping 
willows, where the perch sank under the weeds! 

Hans lovingly hung up a glowing strap and stood watching 
its light and shade. " Don't you see I can't ? " he said. 

" You might give a fellow an answer ? " 

Hans turned to his young master with amazement. " Why, 
I have answered! No." 


The fishing-rod leaped up in Egon's hand and struck the 
other full across the face. Presently he was lying on his back 
in the woods, gasping for breath and abusing Hans. He lay 
there for a long time, and first called Hans many ugly names, 
and latterly himself. It was nedrly midday before he once more 
stole into the stable-yard. 'Not a human soul was in sight, but 
all the pigeons Were there. The pigeons looked at him 
curiously, and one of the peacocks got up. 

Hans still stood hard at work, in silence, an ugly purple 
mark across his bright red cheeks. 

^' Hans, I'm a cad," said Egon* 

Hans showed no immediate eagerness to dispute the propo- 

" A low cad," said Egon, flushing. 

" Very well. Junker, we'll say no more about it. Of course 
I forgive you, but you shouldn't hit people that can't hit you 

"Hit me back,'^ replied Egon quickly. "By Jove, I wish 
you Would ! " 

Did he Expect the thing to happen? He doesn't know. 
Certain it is that the stable-boy flashed down upon him and 
struck him, with his own weapon, a couple of blows across the 
shoulders, Breathless th6 boys faced each other. That remains 
the only beating Egon Roden ever received. 

" You're bigger'n me," rose to Egon'S lips, but he bit back 
the words, steadfastly staring at his hero. 

Then, slowly, Hans Stormer stood to attention, like a soldier, 
both hands falling stiff against his thighs. " Now, Junker, you 
must tell my Lord Couiit," he said, " and they'll shoot me." 

"Like they shot the wicked seneschal," he continued, with 
feudal reminigcdnce. "I though of that," he added, and a 
touch of pride broke across his respectful tone, " but I'd rather 
be shot, Junker Egon, than never like you again." 

" Shake hands," said Egon, saving the situation. " I say, 
Hans, you needn't have hit so hard." 

" Hard ? " The grin on Han's features spread so broad that 
it broke on Egon's. " You just try father," said Hans. 

" Thanks. And I say, Hans, you needn't tell any one you've 
licked me." 

The stable-boy's brow clouded over. " I do believe you think 
I'm a brute beast of a blackguard," he said energetically. 
"Besides, now if you like you can thrash me dead." 

But Hans lived on, and Egon sought such poor consolation 


as Nature could afford him in the companionship of his sister 
Oertrude, and his brothers Konrad and Karl. £gon had early 
declared that he thought Konrad a mufP and a sneak: to this 
judgment Hans had only proffered i)erfunctory objections, and 
it soon became an appreciation, which need not be rei)eated, but 
must still remain regretfully understood. Konrad was a 
healthy, happy youth, who took things coolly. He even coolly 
took things that belonged to Egon, and the other scornfully let 
him. It was no use telling him that the Good, the True, and 
the Beautiful were one, for he only answered : " S'ist mir Alles 
eins." When the Generalin sighed, her husband's thoughts 
reverted to Cain and Abel. But Konrad had his advantages: 
he played the violin almost as well as Egon sang, so that he 
was not out of place in the Roden family. Though not so good 
a horseman, he was a better shot. None of his relations ever 
got to know that he pulled out the wings of flies. He used to 
lock his bedroom door when he did it, and once, upon his father 
happening to call to him, he declared that he was saying his 
prayers. Well, there are various kinds of offering worship to 
various deities. " Say your prayers in the morning," said the 
General curtly. One wonders what would have happened if the 
others had known! But Konrad peered at petals and things 
under the microscope with the rest. " Yes, father," he said 
obediently, "the coloring is beautiful. Oh, how beautiful the 
coloring is I " Once the General offered a penny to whoever 
should first bring him the wing of a dragon-fly. All the chil- 
dren sought long and vain, and Konrad bided his time. But, 
when Egon came home from school and said that a fellow had 
given him one, Konrad immediately rushed to the General's 
room and laid his wing on the writing-table. " I found it dead 
behind the hot-house," gasped Konrad, clutching his penny. 
Egon looked at him, but Egon, even at that age — nine — ^had 
learnt from his father to want double proof of guilt. 

Still, " He's a sneak," said Egon, for, like most of the boys 
at the Grammar School, Egon saw black and white. Konrad 
could distinguish a variety of twilights, careful to keep out of 
the shade. The younger brother disliked his elder, because the 
elder laughed when Konrad fell off the pony. At least, that 
was the reason to which he owned. The brown pony with the 
switchy tail, the irritable cob with the mottled patch — of 
supreme interest were these in the young people's daily lives. 
You tumbled about amongst horses all day if you lived with 
King's Hussars. And if you are brought up to appreciate the 


beauties of creation, surely you may naturally concentrate your 
interest on the beautifullest beauty of them alll 

Nor can you grow to young manhood amongst the laughing 
Rhinelanders and not feel an awakening sympathy for the 
second fairest thing in creation, the sisters of the other boys. 
Not with impunity do you read the language of Schiller, in 
class, and of Heine, in your lazy, half-hidden canoe, on the 
rippling summer water. Officially a certain amount of 
" Schwarmerei " is prescribed in your military education ; you 
cannot avoid it, if you would. Its exuberance will die down 
as you escape from your teens, but it will leave a soft point at 
your heart, to which rougher nations remain willing strangers. 

" Like rheumatic fever," says the scoffer. 

When Egon von Koden spoke of himself as unwounded, he 
certainly did not mean to disclaim calf-like stirrings towards 
the tresses of Gretchen or the tilted nose of Marie. Like all 
his fellows, he had stood waiting, in a downpour, to see one of 
these young ladies come out of school. He had treated Marie- 
chen to innumerable strawberry ices — ^her "ideal"; half-a- 
dozen on a heavenly half -holiday, with a terrible morrow of 
parental inquiry ! she very nearly died of his love. What pale- 
ozoic fossils of folly are these ? He was not yet out of his teens 
when a graver experience befell him, that suffused his whole 
future career. He had gone to Rheyna, on leaving the " Gym- 
nasium," to prepare for his one possible profession, the army, 
and Hans had been especially attached to his service. The two 
young men were faster friends than ever, but with the nascent 
reserve of grown-ups. Hans, nearly twenty, had long learnt 
that patient responsibility towards life which awakes so much 
earlier in the graver children of the people. 

One evening they were riding, for the hundredth time, 
together up the pine-glade that winds along the babbling torrent 
from Rheyna village to Rheyna castle — the Sideway, men call 
it : ah, thou knowest it, heart of my heart I 'Twas a still sum- 
mer evening, rich with contentment, and the sense of much 
labor accomplished and balmy slumbers approaching in 
meadow and field. 

" Hans, what a beauty my horse is ! " said Egon. Indeed, 
he had reason to say so; he rode the bay mare which his uncle 
had recently given him — a fortnight ago — ^because he had 
accepted the foolhardy challenge of an officer in the neighbor- 
ing garrison town, and leaped the mess-table. " A young idiot,** 


said Count Eheyna, but he gave him the mare. Egon rode her 
exactly a dozen times, no more. 

"A beauty she is," assented Hans. Firefly, perfectly 
conscious of commendation, tossed her mane, looking back with 
both eyes as she foamed over her snaffle and bespattered her lord. 

" Hans, there is something I want to say to you. I've been 
wanting to say it for ever so long." 

The servant drew a foot or two forwards, all respectful atten- 
tion. The horses, in the golden gloaming, played with their 

" Come closer I Have you ever noticed, Hans, how pretty 
Trudchen Schudde is? Goodness, what makes Thora plunge 
like that?" 

" Whoa, my pretty, whoa 1 " said Hans. 

" Why don't you answer ? " demanded Egon. 

" Please, I'd rather wait," said Hans, still uncertain. He 
felt apologetic to his mare for that sudden grip of his lusty 
young legs which had caused her to leap aside, but he had always 
thought his secret to be his own. 

" She's the prettiest girl I've ever seen," continued the artless 
Egon, " and I'll tell you what I'm going to do, Hans. I'm going 
to get up a flirtation with Trudchen Schudde. Oh, honor 

H^s did not answer; he rode, carelessly stroking his horse's 

" I saw her this morning in the hay-field ; do you know, I 
rather think she likes me?" persisted the ingenuous youth. 
" And I told her I'd come to her window to-night for a chat in 
the moonshine." 

" There's no moon," answered Hans, with a touch of spite. 
. " Oh I — ^well, we can have the chat all the same, and her 
father won't see us. It'll be an awful lark, Hans. I never had 
an adventure of the kind before; and you see, I'm nearly nine- 

" Eighteen and four months," said Hans. " Junker, if I was 
you, I shouldn't." 

" Why not ? It's only a lark ; she knows that as well as I." 

Hans, suddenly convicted of selfishness, remained silent. 
They rode on through the lovely twilight, that played in warm 
waves around them, too tender not to rouse thoughts of love 
in hearts that were budding with life's spring. 

" You can't get up to her window," said Hans, who had often 
stood under it. 


" Can't I ? — ^by Jove, are you sure ? " — a long pause — " Look 
here, be a good chap, Hans; you'll have to come with me and 
give me a leg up." 

" Zu Befehl," said the servant, who had never avoidably dis- 

"It's an awful nuisance having you there. You won't 
listen ? You don't mind coming, Hans ? " 

" I shall try not to listen," replied the henchman. 

" Hans, you're a dear good fellow. Hans, you're an ass." 

They rode on through the smell of the pine-trees, up the 
golden-shadowed glade. 

" What a beauty she is I " said Egon, and now he meant his 

"Yes, Junker; I shouldn't jump /icr over no mess-tables. 
Don't you think — ^mit Verlaub — ^you sometimes do things that 
are a bit— over-courageous ? " 

" I didn't really want to jump the mess-table a bit," answered 
Egon frankly, " but what was I to do ? There was that idiotic 
von Rosswitz egging me on and saying that Konrad had said 
I had said I could do it, and there they were all looking and 
laughing, and half of them tipsy — ^well, what could I do? So 
I jumped." 

" But you never had said you could do it ? " 

" No ; does that make any difference ? I couldn't call Kon- 
rad a liar. They'd given him too much champagne. I hate 
a man that gets drunk." 

" Well, then, now — there is Trudchen ? " 

Firefly gave a proud leap of disgust. 

" Do you call that over-courageous ? Whom am I to be 
afraid of ? Trudchen's father ? Or rivals ? " 

" 'No rivals. It's all fair and above board ? — ^you won't kiss 

Egon pressed his fretting horse into a gallop. " I shall kiss 
her, if she lets me. But I'll stop on this side of the window. 
I won't have her reputation imperilled! !N'ine o'clock, mind! 
At the kitchen garden gate ! " He dashed up the avenue and 
into the courtyard; the unclothed statues seemed to totter on 
the bridge. 

At the little kitchen garden gate, the squeaky gate beneath 
the elms, by the tool-house, Hans awaited his young master in 
the softly scented night. Velvet darkness hung around him, 
brightly blue and star-bespangled; the swans that sleep there 
stirred their wings beneath the placid lines of foliage, and in 


the lofty masses of the trees a bird chirped here and there. 

Hans, aged twenty, felt greatly Egon's senior. He was a 
man; five long years he had worked for his bread. And his 
love was a serious matter, a matter of life and death. He felt 
miserable, but he knew that to treat the whole thing as more 
than a schoolboy's frolic would have made him immeasurably 
more miserable still. So he laughed response to young Egon's 
high spirits. Love-making, after all, is not love. 

A ten minutes' trudge brought the pair to the clearing in 
the pine-woods, where lay the forester's cottage, asleep. 

" That's her window — ^with the honeysuckle round it," said 
Egon in an awestruck whisper. "I say, help me up I I shall 
have to stand on your shoulders, Hans." 

"Am I to wait like this, all the time?" suddenly expostu- 
lated Jonathan. 

" Why, yes ; what do you care ? Haven't you done it again 
and again, when we went to get apples? I wish she'd show a 

" I dare say she's asleep," said Hans. 

Egon's feelings permitted no reply to this bit of imperti- 
nence. " Here goes ; I sha'n't hurt you," he said. 

" Oh, no, you — ^won't — ^hurt — ^me," answered Hans, with his 
back firm-set against the wall. Egon climbed up on to the stal- 
wart shoulders, and the little window opened slowly to his tap. 

For ten long minutes Hans held out, vaguely fascinated by 
the continuous coo above him. Absolute silence reigned 
around; the whole vast pine forest stood and listened. Not a 
sound touched its endless profundities ; not a ripple of laughter 
awoke between its solemn stems. Only the young laugh at 
sweethearts, however silly. The grey old forest, whose heart is 
unchangeably green, and whose life, in a thousand forms, is a 
flow of eternal dalliance, oped its eyes and held its breath. 
Once or twice the expectant Hans shifted his cramped position. 
" Oh, I say ; hold hard," hissed Egon. The boy was amusing 
himself thoroughly, murmuring a lot of sugary nothings to one 
who well knew they were sweetly naught. 

"Go away now," whispered Trudchen. "Don't be silly, 
Junker, please ! " 

But the Junker preferred to be silly, just for once, in parting 
— and the music of four lips meeting in highest heaven thrilled 
gently adown the summer darkness and stole away into farthest 
abysms of hidden vendure that rippled it on, a long message of 


It fell, like a final discord, on the ears of the swain down 
below. Under its weight — was there grief, indignation, spite, 
a bit of all three? — ^Hans lurched forward, lost his balance — 
Egon swung away from the house-wall; down he came with a 
crash, with a twist, a sharp snap of something violently break- 
ing ; the lover lay prone. In a moment the comedy was tragedy. 
The window closed hastily; Egon hung on his elbow, gasping, 
unable to rise. The terrified liegeman dragged his master away 
under the shadow of the trees. 

Presimiably Hans knows how he got his burden home, but he 
has never been able to give a coherent account of the journey. 
He knows that they hurriedly brought him a dram in the Castle 
kitchen, and that he asked for a second, before he could rise 
to his feet. 

It was many weeks before Egon could rise to his feet. " Only 
a little wrench in the ankle," said the village doctor, "of no 
importance at all." It was nothing, he said, and perhaps that 
prevented his seeing it. But there came a professor from 
Halle, who hurt the patient more than the little country prac- 
titioner had done. The parents, summoned from Bonn, stood, 
grief -stricken, by the bedside — then they, too, said it was noth- 
ing, a matter of weeks. They had never known illness that 
seriously troubled them; once the children had all had the 
measles and got well. Fresh doctors, big doctors, at Bonn 
University declared the foot would be right in no time, and, 
alas, in no time was it right. After that, every fresh celebrity, 
considering his predecessor had done something, could say that 
the case had been bungled. Egon lay tortured by treatments, 
paonth after month. 

On the day when he left Rheyna he asked Hans to wheel him 
into the stable and leave him there alone with his horse. The 
mare turned her big eyes to him, in her sweet-smelling box, 
astonished at his previous absence, alarmed by his lameness, so 
terrible to a horse. She distended her nostrils; her eyes were 
full of pain. 

He pUt his arm round her neck and laid his cheek against 
the satin of its curve. " My beauty," he whispered, " I shall 
come back to ride you in the summer; till then you must let 
Hans do it for me ; you must be very good to Hans." And he 
limped out to his little cart by the stable door, and presently 
called for Hans with cheerful voice. 

" Hans," he said, " don't be a fool. It's no more your fault 
than Firefly's." 


" Indeed it is," answered Hans. 

" I tell you 'tis my fault for playing the fool, and nobody 
else's. Give us your paw ! " 

Hans muttered something unintelligible. The wind howled 
round the stable buildings, for the weather had changed with 
the season; all vestige of summer had died from the rapidly 
blackening earth. 

" Give us your paw at once ! And, look here, I've spoken to 
my uncle. You can get betrothed to Trudchen Schudde, when 
you like." 

"I hate her," was Hans' unexi)ected reply. 

" What in the name of goodness ? " 

"I hate her; I hate all women. All the mischief in the 
world comes from them." 

" All the same, you must marry her some day." 

" Begging your pardon. Junker, I shall always do whatever 
you tell me — if it was to throw myself into the Hinterbrook, and 
gladly! " said poor Hans, looking glummer than ever; " but I'm 
going to be your servant and wait on you, and I can't be bothered 
with girls." 

" Well, you're in no hurry. You'll have to serve your time 
first in the army " — ^both lads winced — " and then " 

" And then I shall be your servant, all my life long. 'Twas 
my foolish old mother told Trudchen I was sweet on her, or 
nobody'd ever have known." 

" Why, you talk as if I was always to be like this ? What 
nonsense! I shall be all right in a month or two. You'll be 
my orderly before the next year's out ! " 

After a month or two of inflicted pain and fostered suspense 
at home. Count Eoden insisted on his brother taking Egon to 
Paris. Father and son saw the city and returned. " Well, now 
at least you know the case is hopeless," said Count Roden, who 
had his fixed ideas and lived up to them. At last Egon under- 
stood. Some little strings were torn and no surgeon's skill 
could heal them. His foot would always remain painful: he 
must limp. 

He rose to that consciousness, the whole splendidly built 
eighteen years of him, swaying right and left to his father's 
firm hold of God's wisdom, to his mother's sweet faith in God's 
love. "Not did they fail him in the supreme moment of agony, 
these gentle and highly-cultured parents whose dream of life 
had been a dream of beauty. True, in the first moment, Justus 
hung back. '* I cannot," he said. But the little Generalin put 


him gently aside and passed into the darkness of Egon's 
chamber, which the doctor had quitted a couple of hours ago. 
She felt her way towards the bed on which her eldest son had 
thrown himself. " My boy," she said gently, in that sweet voice 
of hers, which had never trembled so softly, " I am so sorry, so 
sorry ! Oh, Egon, what else shall I say ? So sorry, so sorry." 

She knelt beside the bed. "Yes, there is something else I 
would say," she stammered. " You must not be angry with me, 
dearest. I want to say this. It sounds utterly idiotic, and yet 
it is Gospel truth. Some day, in some distant, certain future, 
X)erhaps not even here on earth, but in a certain, certain future, 
you will actually be glad. You will say: God, I thank Thee! 
Does it not sound absurd? " 

There was no rejoinder from the bed. 

" I can't preach or philosophize," continued the poor mother, 

" I just want you to try and tell yourself " She broke down 

in the darkness, and seized an irresponsive hand. She felt a 
tall figure beside her, and knew that her husband had found 
his way to them both. 

Egon started up. " Father, I must go into the army ! " he 
cried. " I must ! I must ! " 

It was the General's turn to keep back all vain reply. 

"You have always told us that every Prussian must serve 
his King." 

" My boy — ^my poor boy ! " stammered Justus. But the 
little Generalin had risen: her arms were round husband and 
son, and her voice was like liquid melody : 

" Fiir Gott mit Konig und Vaterland ! " she said. Egon — 
my boy ! — ^you can serve your King." 

But Egon von Eoden, though he learnt to face down his 
trouble, means always bore it in angelic mood. He flew 
at Konrad, who had muttered an allusion to " le diable boiteux," 
and licked him in their father's presence, and the General only 
said : " Stop now." 

Next summer he settled down as a law-student and went in 
for " Jura und Kameralwissenschaf ten " at Bonn first and then 
at Heidelberg. He wore the white and black cap of the aristo- 
cratic " Borussia," and lived up to the stem, if strange, code of 
his set. He even came in for one serious pistol encounter, the 
result of an affront by an officer at the theatre to a lady whom 
neither antagonist knew. His life was the life of his friends. 
In all things immaterial he frolicked: in most things material 
went straight: he was never known to do a low thing, or an 


unkind thing, and his purse he held open to his numerous 
friends. He was generally voted a good fellow: his beautiful 
voice was in great request. He had given " Firefly" to Konrad 
one evening on coming out of the " Schlosskirche " with his 
mother; Count Roden, for reasons locked up in a cynical bosom, 
sent this maimed nephew a yearly present of money, which the 
latter expended on works of art. He was known to study art 
far more willingly than law-books. Still, he passed his big final 
examination at Berlin, to his own pleased surprise. He was 
intended for some great administration, possibly diplomacy, 
later on. 

"I really did almost decently at my viva voce," he said to 
his father; "you cannot imagine what rot it all is! " 

The quick leap of satisfaction died out of the Generars eyes. 
"It can't be helped," he said sadly, "I suppose. there must be 
some decent law-i)eopleI Moses was a lawgiver. Any fool can 
make a soldier. And Bismarck is a civilian: let us cling to 

But some few weeks later the whole household was thrown 
into direst dismay. For without any warning or preparation 
the Oeneral was suddenly seized with hemorrhage from the 
lungs, and the professional authorities, with long-drawn faces, 
immediately ordered him south. All doctors have long been 
agreed that the icy, dust-laden winds of the Riviera present the 
best remedy for laboring lungs: nowhere else are obtainable 
such swift changes of temperature, such curious comminglings 
of chill and white heat. It was accordingly explained to 
General von Roden that he must go to the Riviera or else he 
would die. Most opportunely Count Riesenthal offered the 
Villa Buonarotti, and thither father, mother and daughter be- 
took themselves, with hearts full of gratitude and hope. Soon 
after, £gon arrived at Monte Carlo, in attendance on his uncle, 
the Count. Konrad was " Porte-Ep^e-Fahnrich " in a crack 
regiment at Darmstadt. Karl was at Lichterfelde, where he 
had recently been appointed to the post of a Royal Page. 


" This afternoon, then, Madame de Boden expects us," said 
Colonel Sandring at breakfast, a few days after his first meet- 
ing with Egon. " Don't forget, Dolly I " 

It was not likely that Dorothea would forget : her countri- 
fied self -distrust caused her too much apprehension for that. 
" I am going up to Cimiez this morning to paint," she said, her 
thoughts in swift search for a diversion. 

" All right, I shall be here at four," said the Colonel. He 
had often doubted the advisability of breakfasting with his 
daughter — ^with any one. After forty we of course look our 
worst until midday, and Sandring did not like to get up before 
then. It cost him immense consideration to make this sacrifice 
to his daughter's companionship, but the arrangement left him 
free for lunch. " I can afford it," he said to himself, turning 
from a close contemplation of his wrinkles in the glass. " For 
the next half a dozen years I can afford it." 

Dorothea had recently revived the long-discarded drawing in 
water-colors which her mild Swiss governess had early com- 
municated to her. The aunts greatly admired it : their niece's 
fancy landscapes hung all about the house. Her father encour- 
aged her. "Reproduce the beauties of the Riviera, my dear," 
he said. " Send them to the old ladies at Brodryck." So she 
used to hire a little white donkey to carry her stool and sketch- 
ing things, and trot him about the suburbs, perpetrating 

The donkey, whom a previous lady tourist had christened 
" Gem," and who therefore answered to the appellations Jem, 
James ("Shems"), Shem, etc., promiscuously, possessed all the 
numerous good qualities which dwell in the souls and which 
speak from the eyes of his kind. The malicious stupidity of 
man is surely shown in nothing more clearly than in the fact 
that he has been able to live for countless centuries beside the 
donkey without learning either sagacity or virtue from the 
example of that brave little beast. In untold arrogance man 
sometimes writes some feebler kinsman down — an ass. At 
least, then, the poor sharer of our common curse shows himself 


patient with the brethren, patient in tribulation, patiently run- 
ning a race that is not to the strong. Oh, the long agony, age 
after age, in the East I Lord, canst Thou endure in Thy heaven 
the burden of the ass? 

The chequered existence of "Shems'' ("called after the 
Prince of England," says his master) recognized too brief 
periods of uninterrupted sunshine in the hours which he spent 
with Dorothea. He carried a light weight, for she much pre- 
ferred walking, and she never pressed him, as they loitered 
together through miles of leafiness. The former lady, a Miss 
Smythe-Rodgers (of the Shropshire Smythe-Rodgerses, Park- 
lands, Ealing), had loved the dear little donkey's little shiny 
round paunch (whence "Gem")» and had given him lumps of 
sugar, and his master leaflets of the " Sosee-etay days Annie- 
mow," and had weighed fourteen stone and had ridden him up 
everything, including the "root de Saint Andry," and had 
prodded him all the time with the point of her open, inverted 
parasol. The Gtem therefore shivered down to his hoofs when- 
ever he saw a scarlet simshade. You could hardly coax him 
past one. 

There were no parasols of any kind at that early hour, in the 
solitudes of Cimiez. The donkey wandered up, with little trots 
of contentment: the young girl behind him thought only of 
happiness. All the world around her was lovely : she had never 
seen such luscious, odorous, entrancing vitality as this. 

At a spot near the ruins, half hidden in verdure, she stopped, 
and began to get ready her painting-things. Turning her back 
on the ampthitheatre, she settled down to an exquisite view, 
through an archway, of hill-side and deep blue sea. It was an 
ambitious subject, but that did not make much difference to her 
limited powers. The donkey's bridle trailed lightly over an 
olive branch as he nibbled at the grass. The minutes passed 
rapidly; the sketch progressed favorably: Dorothea, hard at 
work, heard nothing but the twitter of the birds. A finch, 
overhead, almost burst with approval — of the sunshine, not of 
the sketch. 

Suddenly a voice, far louder even than the finch's, broke in 
upon the universal repose. Dorothea started so violently that 
she dropped a little paint-glass she was cleaning, and it fell in 
a splash of brown dirt along her dress. For the voice was a 
man's voice, close to her, singing. 

She peeped between the thick bushes behind her : a few yards 
off, against the wall of the ampthitheatre, a young man stood 


erect, a couple of ladies beside him. They were gazing with 
their backs to her, admiring the great circle of the ruins, prob- 
ably reconstructing from the paltry debris thus lost amid 
foliage on the hill-top that great arena of ancient battle, on 
whose shoutings and passions the same heavens had smiled long 
ago. Unexpectedly, to himself as to the others, the young man 
had broken into song : 

" Ave, CfiBsar, te salutant morituri ! " 

It was the grand chorus from the first part of Pulcini's 
" Martiri." Dorothea knew nothing of this, but she stood listen- 
ing, spellbound, to finer music than she had ever heard before. 
The words rose, with all their impressive threatening, and rolled 
away into the genial sunshine and the sparkling tree-tops over- 

" Yes, that is splendid," said the younger of the ladies in the 
awe-filled silence, " but it is overwhelming. Sing us something 
else, something brighter, Egon ! " 

The young man turned to his sister, laughing. "Donna h 
Mobile ! " he sang, accompanying the hackneyed words with 
mimicry worthy of Rigoletto. She flashed up her red sunshade 
between them, to ward off the persiflage in his movements and 

Shems, who had stood silently contemplative, rubbing his 
nose against Dorothea's fingers, shot back at this sudden 
apparition of his foe. In the abruptness of his retreat he almost 
sat down on an aloe shaft, which caused him to leap still more 
rapidly forward, knocking aside Dorothea and dashing round a 
comer, right away into the middle of the ruins. Dorothea, with 
great presence of mind, hurried after him to arrest his descent 
down the high road which runs through the circle. But Shems 
had no intention of hastening home. He stood still in a wide 
field of sunlight, opposite the Germans, first kicked out with his 
hind feet and then lifted up his voice, in wild chorus to the song. 

The man's notes stopped immediately: the donkey's went 
on for some time. On one side of the amphitheatre stood the 
Germans, laughing outrageously; the donkey was in the 
middle; in the opening of the high road stared Dorothea, dis- 
tressed. Presently Shems arrested his ancestral cry of protest, 
waiting, perhaps, for applause. It came, in the shape of fresh, 
immoderate laughter, in which Dorothea presently joined. 

" But what, then, is this ? " asked the elder lady. 

Dorothea, recalling descriptions, felt almost certain she knew 


who these terrible laughers must be. ^' I — ^I am afraid that is 
my donkey," said Dorothea. 

The girl of the red parasol turned towards her with ready 
decision. " Then I must help you to catch him," she said. On 
the brother's brow settled a quick frown of annoyance. " Not 
you," whispered Gertrude. 

" Yes, of course ; can I help it ? " he answered. He started 
at a quick limp in the opposite direction to Dorothea, and, had 
she still felt doubt, it would have vanished at the sight. But 
Shems, in spite of his good nature, refused to be caught by a 
man with a limp or a girl with a red parasol. 

"I — ^I'm afraid you will have to shut up that sunshade," 
gasped Dorothea. "I think I could manage — ^thanks — if you 
would kindly go away I " Whereon Egon and she caught the 
donkey together: in fact, it immediately ran into her arms. 
" Oh, thank you ! " she stammered, her hand on the poor 
creature's neck. His eyes were looking at her, close, over the 
donkey's head. She wondered what their expression really was 
at that moment, how they came to twinkle, keeping so grave. 

"I am so sorry I" she began hurriedly, stumbling, red and 
terrified, in her German, to the Generalin. "I owe you a 
thousand apologies. I interrupted your singing, and this 
gentleman sang so beautifully. I mean the donkey did — inter- 
rupted, I mean. My name is Miss Sandring; I may as well 
introduce myself at once, for I believe I am to have the pleasure 
of calling on you this afternoon with my father. He is so 
stupid. He is dreadfully afraid of red umbrellas. An old 
English lady used to prod him with one." 

" Indeed? " said the Frau Generalin. " Yes, I am the Frau 
von Roden, and these are my daughter and son." 

" The latter, like your donkey, is afraid of red umbrellas," 
remarked Gertrude, shaking her own at her brother. " He will 
not soon mock at womankind again." 

" I never did : I never do," protested Egon with vehemence. 
" Mobility in everyone is an excellent thing." 

" Except in an uncaught donkey," said Gertrude. 

"He is very good," declared Dorothea, fondling her beast, 
" very good and patient. Look, how I can tease him ! " She 
pulled at Shems' ears. 

" The comparison still holds good," began Gertrude Roden 
slily, but her brother interrupted her, and Dorothea, at this 
moment catching sight of the mess on her skirt, rather hurriedly 
departed, with Shems tucked under her arm. 


"It's a pity you are going back to lunch at Monte Carlo," 
said Gertrude, watching the retreating figure. " She seems 
rather a nice girl." 

" No, I shall stay till dinner-time," answered Egon. So he 
was present at the visit which, now the ice was so thoroughly 
broken, proved rather a success. 

When her guests were gone, the Generalin emitted an 
opinion : " The daughter is good. I shall befriend her. She as 
good as asked me to do so." 

" I am sorry you did not care for the man," replied her hus- 
band. "I believe he is very brave. I cannot believe that a 
brave man could be a bad one." 

"My dear Justus, not a word have I uttered ^" 

" Just so, Kate ; your reticences are your condemnations. 
For you always turn up to the sunlight every mortal bit of 
sparkle you perceive in a human heart ! " 

She got up from her tea-table and walked straight across to 
him. " Justus, say you are feeling better I " she said. 

" A great deal better," he answered, and held her away from 

" But, if you were better each time that you said it, you'd 
have been well long ago." 

" My dear, I don't think that is grammar," he laughed. 

" If only you feel better ! — are better ! " She put up her 
lips to kiss him. 

" Don't kiss me," he said hastily. " Not on the mouth I " 
He held her at arm's length. 

She sank down with a low moan, bending like a flower that 
breaks on the stalk; then, suddenly, she straightened herself, 
and threw her arms round his neck and dragged him down. 
" And if it were the kiss of death ! " she gasped. 

" Hush, think of the children ! the children ! " 

She stopped, hanging still closer. They stood together, 
alone, by the great drawing-room window, that opens like a 
stage-front on the wide panorama beneath them, over slopes ever 
rippling with laughter, the far city, in white splendor, by the 
sweep of the glittering sea. All seemed right in God's world. 
The little Generalin pressed closer yet. 

"When my brother dies," said Justus, "think of the com- 
plications I You must be there then, to help them all." 

" Poor Egon I " she murmured. " It does not seem fair that 
the eldest should not be the inevitable heir." She felt him 
shrink ever so little away. 


" I do not agree with you at all," he said hurriedly. " It 
has always been like that; it is the * house-order.' We have 
never known any other. It was settled for Egon long before 
his birth. We have never spoken of it before. I had no idea 
you thought of it like that, Kate ! " His tone showed her how 
much she had distressed him. 

" Hush," she said, soothingly, " What does it matter ? Your 
brother is not dead yet ; nor are you, thank God I " And then, 
before he could stop her, she kissed him twice on the lips. 
" Love laughs at the doctors," she s'aid. " Dear, surely you do 
not believe all this rubbish about microbes ? " 

"The doctors " he began. 

" See more, and less clearly, than they saw in the days of 
Moliere. A hundred times you have said so yourself." 

" Ah, that was in the days of my health ! " 

" They know nothing," she said, passionately, crying down 
her own heart. "Nothing! nothing I nothing do they know! 
When I was seven years old, the doctors declared I could not 
live through the winter. I have lived through many winters, 
and through more summers, somehow ! " She laughed a sad 
little laugh, full of tenderness. " So will you ! " 

"Well — " he said, "we will read a scene or two from *Le 
Malade Imaginaire ' to-night. It will do us good. Do not let 
us get lugubrious, whatever we do. Lugubriousness is the only 
evil that precludes its own cure." 

"Justus, that is your new prose quotation," she sighed. 
" How well I remember your first prose quotation ! It came 
unexpectedly, like your first grey hair." 

" Well, it was you that extracted them, both ! " he made 
answer. And they both laughed so heartily you might easily 
have thought all was right in God's world. And so, presumably, 
it is. In the whole seething, stinking foundry the bell is some- 
how being cast which will one day ring His praise alone. 

Dorothea sat in one of the many cane chairs scattered over 
the big hotel vestibule, reviewing the events of her day. A 
Tauchnitz lay on her lap, for most people who enjoy doing noth- 
ing require a pretence that they don't. In the course of her 
tea-drinking at the Villa Buonarotti, Egon Roden had dumb- 
founded her by asking why she never came to Monte Carlo. 
From this shock she had not yet recovered; the mere recollec- 
tion brought the blood to her cheeks. Her father went fre- 
quently to Monaco, possessed by a regrettable, but, alas, not 


unnatural passion for pigeon-sliooting ; Monte Carlo, she had 
Understood, was a gambling hell which no decent person ever 
went near* What a striange world was this into which the last 
fortnight had ushered her ! Young men of irreproachable man- 
ner insulted you with a smile! A strange world, indeed, in 
which inost of the women were painted, and most of the men 
were — tArred. 

Once, during a fortnight's stay at the Hague, she had been 
taken to the opera, and had seen " La Muette de Portici.*' She 
felt now all along as if she were present at a performance, 
amongst the brilliantly colored Italian scenery and surround- 
ings, but the performers were all men and women out of novels 
she had never read. 

Her father was full of affectionate consideration, and she 
must not forget that uncle Tony, kindest of irascible mortals, 
went mad about sport. A soldier would naturally be more 
inured than his daughter to the shedding of innocent blood. 
So the Colonel spent his afternoons, frequently, at Monaco, and 
in the evenings, he liked to go out. She had accompanied him 
several times to theatre and opera, but had noticed to her dis- 
appointment that the only thing he really cared for was the 
ballet. Once they went to a classic tragedy together, but he 
laughed so they had to come away. He, on the other hand, was 
distinctly put out by her puritan attitude towards the ballet. 

" Father, would you like to think of me as a ballet-girl ?" 

" 'No, Dolly, nor as a cook." 

" But would you be ashamed of me as a cook ? " 


Alas, he was sometimes decidedly disappointing, this comely, 
courteous, kindly father. He, that was so brave I She had 
never reflected on the various forms of cowardice. 

So the Colonel went out a good deal alone — ^well, hardly 
alone. Dorothea said she liked quiet evenings. She con- 
fectioned a lot of Christmas presents for Brodryck, and, anxious 
to improve her English, amused the Colonel by asking for classi- 
cal authors in the bookshops of the Quai Massena. 

" Milton ? " said the dapper English shop-assistant, 
dubiously. " You — ^you mean the poet — not the prophet ? " 

"The prophet?" 

"Yes; Robert Milton, the sporting prophet of the Figaro, 
We have his book on the turf here; it is selling largely. But 


of course we can get you out the other man from England." 
The Colonel laughed all the way home. 

Yes, it was a queer world, hard to make sense of. Amongst 
the rainbow-hued peacocks that strutted — nay, why insult pea- 
cocks and rainbows? — amongst the blue and yellow, pink and 
green creatures that spread, frizzed, furbelowed and f arded, all 
over the Promenade des Anglais, there trotted and stared, in 
large niunbers, the Cook's trippers, with their yellow straw hats 
and cheap boas, looking really quite refreshingly goody, like 
shabby little brown leather hymn-books among a ruck of two- 
shilling novels that all gaudy frontispiece and flare. 

It was a queer world, intensely delectable. Who could have 
guessed a few weeks ago at Brodryck that life could be diversi- 
fied like this? Dorothea, in perfect health of soul and body, 
wrote delighted epistles to Holland from this enchanted shore. 
The aunts shook their heads and hoped dear Dorothea was not 
growing worldly. Uncle Tony wondered that she did not come 

"I am given to understand," said a lisping voice at Doro- 
thea's elbow, "that I have the honor of addressing Miss 
Sandring ? " She lifted her eyes from the Tauchnitz on which 
they had rested ; a smile over some bit of the " Tramp Abroad " 
had not time to die away from her face. 

" Young, beautiful and happy — ah ! " said the bowing 
Italian, a tall, thin man with cameo-clear features and a tight- 
waxed moustache. He put his hand to his breast and again 
bowed, quite prettily. His manner was graceful, his slightly 
shabby clothing "soignee." Dorothea, who had never before 
beheld elegance in a man, felt vaguely impressed. 

" Monsieur Pini," said the Italian, " II Signer Pini. Barto- 
lommeo Pini-Pizzatelli." And he proffered a card. "Pro- 
fessor of Italian, etcetera," read Dorothea. "N'o, thank you, 
Monsieur; I can take no lessons." The "etcetera" was 
redolent of Nice. 

" Ah, but we can all take lessons ! In everything ! " replied 
Monsieur Pini. "And when we are young, they are pleasant, 
ahimel Yet I aspire not to teaching Miss Sandring the 
language of Dante I I but came to seek the Colonel. You will 
I)ermit me to resume my hat ? " 

"Oh, do please!" 

"Mademoiselle, you are too good. The Colonel had made 
me an appointment. I presume that he has forgotten it. Alas, 
that is not unnatural ! " The pathetic Italian sighed. 


" Oh, I am so sorry; pray sit down and wait I " cried Doro- 
thea in swift distress, for the coat of the visitor seemed to have 
grown suddenly more threadbare. "I will send for some 
tea '' 

" Nay, I beseech of you, no tea ! " Signor Pini stayed her 
hand with a deprecatory gesture, and carefully seated himself 
in an attitude of distinguished deference. Everything about 
him drooped gracefully: eyelids, features, shoulders, coat-tails 
— especially knees. Only his waxed moustaches rose peaked, 
like two needles, erect. " A glass of Vermuth," he said mildly, 
" if it must be. You do not appreciate the Vermuth di Torino. 
Try it. It is not as good in this country as in mine. But then 
nothing is that ! " He nodded his head sadly, and his eyelids 
sank over splendors of memory such as only an exile can see. 

"Perhaps I could give my father a message?" suggested 
Dorothea, watching the Vermuth disappear. 

" Ah, signorina, you are in a hurry. All young people are, 
yet they only have time. Not that I am old " — ^his sharp glance 
sought a mirror — " sorrow oldens ; I was old at eighteen ! " 

Dorothea sat gazing at him, deeply touched. 

" If there is anything I could do for you," she began with 
extreme timidity, " I am sure that my father would permit me. 
He is generosity itself." Her own ideas of charity were aunt 
Mary's, in merciful contradiction with every sane rule on the 

The Italian's steel eyes flashed. "Ah che bel cuore di 
donna I" he exclaimed. "Ah che generosa gioventui Ah, 
signorina, when you are wise as your elders, you will not offer 
thus rashly assistance to those who need it I " 

" Do not, pray, speak too well of me ! I but do what I can ! " 
She thought with disgust of the luxury she lived in — of the 
daily hotel menu, of her lovely new clothes. She had never 
before met with educated indigence. The beggars of Brodryck 
were pauper-born. 

"The Blessed Virgin herself could do no more," replied 
Signor Pini. " I would doubt even if she has always done as 
much, alas ! — for this humblest among her adorers I Hush I " — 
he cast a glance over one shoulder with comic apprehension. 
" The Virgin, I forgot, is a woman ; she is jealous. You, you 
have nothing to do with her! Ah, Santa Madre, I doubt not 
thou hast done thy best for thy servant! Most certainly the 
fault must have been mine ! " He smiled humbly to Dorothea, 


whose thoughts at this moment unexpectedly reverted to aunt 

" Still, I have always shown devotion to the Virgin ! " argued 
the Italian. " The Vermuth is iairly good — and yet my life 
has been I — ^my life has been I" Signor Pini flung up both care- 
fully gloved hands to heaven I Nowadays only poor men wear 
gloves. " Ah, shall I tell you? It will help fill the time till M. 
le Colonel returns. When I was your age, I too was happy, 
rich, fortunate, surrounded by admiring relations, bel giovanel 
— two years later I was beggared, old, broken, alone ! " 

" Is it possible! " cried the girl, her face a study in emotions. 

" You — ^you have never heard of Bomba, thank God ! I am 
of Naples. I was a student. I belonged to the famous asso- 
ciation, formed by our professors, for the freeing of Italy! I 
was the life of it. We were discovered, arrested, most of us 
tortured to death. I fled with others to Malta. All the vast 
possessions of my father were sequestrated, because he would 
not bid me return." 

" Garibaldi ! " cried Dorothea, her eyes kindling. 

The Italian started to his feet and bared his head. " Gari- 
baldi," he said solmenly, * ^was God's reply." 

At that moment Dorothea deemed him splendid. 

Then he sank down on his chair: his eyes glazed over, and 
he mechanically poured himself out another glass of Vermuth. 

" Like all Italians, I am temperate," he said. " We require 
no stimulants to warm our blood. Since that day I have been 
a beggar — ^a beggar that earns his bread. And the Holy Virgin 
has helped me — somewhat. I fear she has little power over the 
cards, unless one marks them. And, then, you see, she also has 
to assist the Bourbons. They are very pious: they pay the 
Jesuits. She cannot excuse herself. Well, my money has gone 
to build Bourbon palaces at Cannes," 

" The Lord Jesus " began Dorothea very softly. 

"Ah, yes," sighed Monsieur Pini. 

" Has taught us to rejoice in our afflictions." 

" Ahim6, my dear young lady, that is Protestant religion." 
Signor Pini sat up briskly. "It is exceedingly beautiful, but 
almost would I ask, have you ever had afflictions to rejoice in ? 
Sincerely do I hope not. Rejoice, dear young lady, rejoice! 
The Vermuth is finished. The Colonel comes not." 

" I much regret it " — ^Dorothea rose — " but I am grateful to 
any opportunity which has procured me the great honor of your 
acquaintance," Again her calm eyes kindled. " I have never 


before met with a man who had sacrificed his life for his 
country. Be sure that my father will help you if he can. It 
is a great honor for me, sir, who have never done anything, 
to shake the hand of a soldier of Garibaldi ! " 

A swift flush spread over Signor Pini's sallow cheeks. " O 
che gran cuor di donna ! " he said softly. " O che nobile 
gioventii ! No, mademoiselle, it is not money I desire from you : 
it is fortune, wealth enormous, that I bring to monsieur your 
father. Already I had resolved, but a moment ago, to withdraw 
from him the chance he despises, and to confer it on another, 
the young lord. But your beauty of face and of soul — oh, bell' 
anima in bel corpo ! oh diamante incastonato — d'oro I — see, these 
have touched me : the wealth of Golconda shall be yours I " 

Dorothea drew back slightly. "Then why doesn't he buy 
a pair of new gloves ? " she thought. 

" You are most generous," she began, with an uncomfortable 
smile, " you, who said you were not. Both in your youth and 
in your age " 

" Age ! " — the Italian winced. " Ah, mademoiselle, you are 
cruel. Believe me, sorrow has caused me to look older than my 
years. Tell your father from me, that he shall have till to- 
morrow at midday the refusal of my offer — for his lovely 
daughter's sake." He waved his hat to the ground, in the most 
ceremonious of salutes. " And remember me in your dove-like 
prayers," he said. 

" I will," answered Dorothea gently. 

" For in that case the system is bound to succeed." 

" The system ? " repeated Dorothea, much mystified. 

" Even though, really — God forgive me — it would succeed 
without. Even the Almighty cannot resist mathematics." 

" I don't think I quite understand," said Dorothea. " How- 
ever, it does not much matter. Good-bye." 

The Italian, who had already retreated, amid more bows, 
turned back, in a sudden inspiration. " Ah ! " he exclaimed, 
" it is you shall be the Patron Saint of the system ! The Blessed 
Virgin — ^but no, you are no business of hers! You will play 
the numbers, without her ! Your white hand at the tables will 

assure us success 


"You mean at Monte Carlo?" said Dorothea, feeling her 
way. "But, signore, that is very wicked. I am certain my 
father would never countenance anything in connection with 
that iniquitous place ! " 

" Youth is positive," replied the Italian drily. 


" You do not mean to say that you go there ? Oh, signore, 
I beg of you, abandon your system." Her cheeks flushed with 
fervor — " I know I have no right to say this, but I have heard 
so much about it " 

"About what?" almost shrieked the Italian— " about my 
system? How much has your father told you? He could tell 
nothing. He tells lies." 

" I mean about Monte Carlo, and its crimes, and its suicides. 
People constantly speak of it. And they say that systems are 
the worst of all." 

" True, true," answered Pini, hugging his thoughts, " Give 
my message to the Colonel or not, as you will. You are happy, 
signorina. Life seems simple to the happy. Farewell," and 
he slid away softly to the door. 

When the Colonel came in to dinner, Dorothea bad a strange 
experience to recount, 

"Pini?" said the Colonel. "Oh, yes, Pini? These hotel 
soups are really beastly. Did be tell you about Italia far^ 

" You know him, then, father ? " 

" I have met him. And I know that he talks of two subjects, 
the sorrows of his youth and the sadness of his age." 

" And his system." 

" He has never spoken to me of that," replied the diplomatic 
Colonel. " Did he explain it to you ? " 

"No, I told him you thought gambling was very wicked." 


" And of course you do. There can be no two opinions about 
gambling, father," 

" Very good people, Dolly, never think there can be two 
opinions about anything. I suppose gambling ia wicked. Who 
was it said that all pleasant things are?" 

" A person, father, who was in the habit of telling untruths." 

" I am not sure of that. However, you will now be able to 
judge for yourself about the wickedness of Monte Carlo. I 
have an invitation for you, the immediate result of this after- 
noon's visit. I met Egon von Roden at Monaco. He told me 
he had made your acquaintance. Did you like him ? " 

" I think not. He was rude." 

"Rude? You must have misunderstood him. That is the 
last thing likely in a German of Roden's position. His mother 
and sister are going across there to lunch with his uncle, and 
he asked me to bring you toe." 


"To Monaco, father?" 

" To Monaco, or Monte Carlo ; it's all the same," said the 
Colonel, suddenly sick of a farce he could no longer keep up. 
" Unless by * Monte Carlo ' you choose to mean only the gaming- 
rooms. Of course you needn't go near ihem^ 

Dorothea bent over her plate. "Perhaps 1 was rude," she 
said, almost to herself. 

" Judging without knowledge of the facts, I should be in- 
clined to accept the latter alternative," said the Colonel, with 
what was an irritable note in the voice of so good-natured a man. 

" But I'd rather not go to Monte Carlo, father." 

" As you like. Only allow me to remind you that you did 
not want to call to-day, yet greatly liked the people, all the 
same, when you met them. Everybody, in my company, can 
do exactly as he pleases, but it does seem a pity, Dolly, that the 
pleasure of one person should so often consist in the not pleas- 
ing others." 

After that they finished their dinner in comparative silence, 
and the Colonel departed by the 8.30 train, to accompany 
Madame de Fleuryse to " Popotte." 

Dorothea, glad of a quiet evening, after many days of gaiety, 
svent up to her room, and sorted her letters. She did not like 
the sound of the first harsh words her father had ever spoken 
to her, and, with a sensitive spirit's eagerness for self-reproach, 
she considered herself entirely to blame for them. She was 
selfish and inexperienced. Full of her new bright pleasures 
only, she had not properly considered what amusemeilts of hers 
must be a nuisance to him. He always showed such a cheerful 
front, she had never paused to ask whether boredom might not 
hide behind a beaming face. He was so good, so noble-hearted : 
whatever he approved of could not honestly be wrong. In a 
sudden revulsion of feeling she saw all the littleness of her Puri- 
tan precisionism showing ugly next to his tolerant knowledge 
of the world. She had been quick to think unreasonable evil 
of Egon von Eoden ; she had expressed censure of Pini, a hero 
and a martyr! She felt hiunbled to the dust, and sought mild 
consolation in her letters. 

"Christmas has come and gone," wrote aunt Mary. "I 
could not but be glad to see so many people happy. Mark 
Lester helped in everything, and produced a .most beautiful 
Christmas tree, though not, of course, as beautiful as yours." 
" What a Christmas ! "• wrote aunt Emma. " Your aunt Mary 


praised the tree to the Lesters; I was delighted to hear her! 
But all's for the best, we are told, here below, and must try to 
believe it. Uncle Antony is growing old." 

Dorothea, laying down the sheets, reflected on Christmas at 
Brodryck. At the hotel here they had had a plum-pudding, and 
her father had given her a locket. On New Year's Eve they 
had had Italian singers at the hotel, and Santa Lucia, and her 
father had given her a pin. 

" I wish you a happy New Year," wrote uncle Tony, " and 
a speedy return to Brodryck. I don't understand about your 
father at all. I imagine some people in this world are very 
different from what others think them." 

"Yes, indeed," sighed Dorothea, though she had not the 
faintest idea to what uncle Tony alluded. 

' Last of all, she took up Mark Lester's letter and re-read it. 
It spoke of his father's fading health : Dorothea would not see 
this friend of her youth again. "I am constantly with him 
now," wrote Mark, " and his one delight is to speak of my future 
here. What can I do but rejoice with him at the picture of 
myself as pastor? Oh, Dorothea, what fools of duty we Christ- 
ians are! You, too — do not tell me you are happy 
away from Brodryck, for I will not believe it. Whatever befalls 
us, let us always remember that ours was a happy childhood. 
That is much ; it is the most any mortal has a right to ask, and 
more than many get." 

Dorothea took up her pen and replied : 

" Don't be so glum, Mark." She tore up the sheet : you 
could not write that to a man whose father was dying. " I am 
happy, very happy," she wrote. "I fear I have always been 
happy — it sounds so selfish — ^but I never have had a chance of 
feeling otherwise. God has always been good to me: He will 
be good in the future. And to you also He will be good, Mark, 
for you serve Him more faithfully, if more unwillingly, than 
I." It was poor theology, perhaps, and worse philosophy, but 
the words sank like balm of Gilead on Mark Lester's frozen and 
burning heart. 


" Let us, then, have a big explanation I " said the Baroness 
Blanche de Fleuryse. She flung open wide, with a rush, the 
French window of her room on the second floor of the Hotel 
Cosmopolitain at Monte Carlo. The sunshine poured in, warm, 
like a noiseless torrent of liquid gold. Far out shimmered, with 
incessant quivering of diamonds, the Mediterranean Sea. 

"I love explanations," said the Baroness, steadying with 
shapely hand the auriferous (but unrooted) mountains that 
glorified her Juno-like head. The laces of her sky-blue morning 
robe f elLlog^ie aBbut her ample bosom. Her face wore its usual 
look of contentment with herself and the world, pleasantly diver- 
sified, for the nonce, by amused disapproval of Sandring. 

"I love explanations," said the Baroness Blanche, sinking 
down on her couch in a fragrance of violets. "Like thunder- 
storms, they clear the air 1 " 

The Colonel sighed good-humoredly. "And I, as you well 
know, abhor them," he answered. " They are not a bit like 
thunderstorms. More like a dust-cloud. When the whole thing 
is over, you are left in a fog. You abuse your acquaintance 
with my antipathies, dear Blanche." 

•" Tcheep ! Tcheep ! " said the Baroness — to her canary. 
This bird had been purchased a week or two ago by the Colonel, 
at her eager insistence, from a hawker, whose cages were scarce 
bigger than his wares. The canary now inhabited a roomy, 
gilded residence, but the Baroness considered him a nuisance, 
and her maid did not always give him food. He eyed his owner 
doubtfully, edging away. 

"He don't respond," said the Colonel, with savage satisfac- 
tion. " The beast can already distinguish the tones of your 
voice, my dear Blanche." 

She mastered her palpable vexation, and smiled at him. 
" The long and the short of it is this," she said coolly : " your 
charming daughter bores you. Don't ! " She lifted her loosely- 
sleeved arm as if to ward off his protests. " I know what you 
are going to say: you think her exceedingly sweet. Oh, you 
fully appreciate her admirable qualities: you — ^you are bene- 
fited by her artless companionship; it does you good: it does 


you quantities of good, and then you come here and vent on 
me the ill-humor her virtues have engendered in a singularly 
amiable man. You play, with distinction, the role of pere noble, 
but, believe me, you are not equal to the strain." She blew a 
whiff of cigarette smoke into the sparkle of the sunshine. 

" I thought I was," replied the Colonel, ruefully. He sank 
for a moment in reflective contemplation of his polished finger- 
nails. Then he remarked, with vigor: "Look here: she's 
charming. We get on admirably. There's not a word of truth 
in what you say." 

" As for the money," continued Madame, angrily rapping the 
cage, for the bird had found sudden voice and now hindered 
her, "that, I understand, is definitely settled on her. To the 
money you must bid farewell." 

" I don't care a d about the money ! " cried Sandring, 

glad of an excuse for a shout of irritation. " I must have told 
you so fifty times, at least. It's you that's always harping on 
the money. I expected her to have it, and she hasn't, and 
there's an end of the whole vulgar affair." 

" That is admirable : it is very like you, Lewis," said 
Madame in a little voice. "And perhaps you are right. If 
you so greatly enjoy your daughter's company, if you enjoy (I 
suppose it is the only word?) this continuous duplicity, secrecy, 
running to and fro, and hiding for fear of discovery — ^well, of 
course, if you really like this sort of thing, then, from your 
point of view there is no more to be said." 

" And from yours ? " inquired the Colonel, not unanxiously. 

"My dear Colonel, do you really desire to know?" 

He began some eager protestations, but she stopped him. 

"From mine?" She rose suddenly, big and splendid. 
" From mine there is simply this, that I refuse to accept it. I 
have other conceptions of enjoyment, II I refuse to endure 
any longer the shadow of a schoolmiss black across my path! 
Can I do this? No. May I go there? No. Mind what you 
say to that idiot. Lord Archie 1 Wear not that hat I Dorothea 
has one like it. Remember, we are going to the opera to- 

" See how you exaggerate I You do not want to go to the 
opera at Nice " 

" I did, to hear Patti." 

" Patti has no longer any voice to speak of. Besides Doro- 
thea is not going again. She does not approve, I believe, of 
the ballet." 


" She is quite right. I have always thought the rows of bald- 
heads in their stalls at the Paris opera an unedifying sight. 
Well, she will go no more to the opera? Instead of that, she 
comes here ! " 

" Behold the explanation ! " exclaimed the Colonel triumph- 
antly. "Because, once in a way, after four weeks at Nice, 
Dorothea comes to see Monte Carlo with the Kodens, you get 
up all this scene. You misjudge my patience, Blanche." 

She watched him for half a minute, quietly. Then she said : 
*' These continued unpleasantnesses are beyond me. We had 
better part." 

The Colonel also waited a few seconds before replying. 
Madame's heart went mildly pit-a-pat : she half -closed her eyes. 

" Nonsense ! " said the Colonel, and at the first sound of his 
voice she opened her eyes again and smiled. " Don't be a fool, 
Blanche. What do you want me to do ? " 

" Lewis, we must get rid of your daughter. Send her back 
to her aunts." 

" No, by thunder 1 " thundered the Colonel, sitting up from 
his dawdle on the sofa. " Have her out for the money and send 
her back, when she hasn't got it ? Make a howling cad of myself 
— and before those two psalm-singing aunts of hers ? No I " 

"You needn't scream," replied the lady. "Your animus 
shows how regretfully you have abandoned the idea. Well, I 
admit there are difficulties. The other alternative remains." 

"What other alternative?" 

" Marry her to somebody. The sooner the better." 

" You speak as if husbands were to be got at the street-cor- 

" Well, so they are by girls who, like your daughter, can put 
four thousand a year into the slot. But, of course, we are 
desirous to get a good one. Even that is quite possible." 

"You talk. You talk." 

" I know of one, for instance." 



" The joke is a bad one," said the Colonel. 

" And why, pray, should Signor Pini not be a suitable hus- 
band for your daughter? You tell me yourself that she greatly 
admires him. He will soon be exceedingly wealthy " 

" He is older than I am I " 

" Hardly, Nor are you so very old. As for that, when a 


young girl admires a man with admiration, the older he is the 
more she feels she may admire him." 

" Pini I " You are insulting, Blanche." 

" Insulting? He is a Count." 

" So are we all. Baroness I " 

" N — ^no. His is a bond fide title, which he had the good 
taste to drop — or, rather, it was taken from him; but the new 
Italian Government would of course restore it at once. Count 
Pini Pizzatelli is worthy of any alliance in Europe." 

" Well, if the title be genuine, the wealth is at least prob- 
lematical. I admit the accuracy of Pini's little * system,' but 
it doesn't go far. It means, at the outside, a couple of napoleons 
a day." 

The Baroness Blanche drew a chair beside the Colonel's sofa. 
^^ Ah, that is the inverted martingale," she said ; ^' but the 
time has come to tell you the truth. This is child's play. We 
only showed it you to give you confidence. Pini has two sys- 
tems: the other is the real one. It requires a large capital. 
Big risks, big returns. He has told me nothing about it; except- 
ing that it covers all the numbers each time." 

" Including the zero ? " smiled the Colonel. 


"But that is mathematically impossible. 

" Nothing is impossible." 

" Not even in mathematics ? " 

"Heavens, do you take me for a school-teacher? In Eng- 
land, perhaps. Yours is a nation of accountants, but in France 
it is always the impossible that happens." 

"Monte Carlo is not even in France." 

"Mathematically — to use your expression — it is. Besides, 
where a Fi*enchwoman is, there France is. When a man talks 
what he calls common-sense to a woman, he is always insupport- 
able. Pini is sure of his secret. He is ready to give any man 
practical proof." 

"Any man?" 

" I should have said no man but one — ^the man who can pro- 
vide him with the necessary capital. Even to him he will not 
confide his secret. He will only pay him a hundred per cent. I " 
She began to pace up and down the room. " Pooh I " she said, 
" in six months' time he can marry a princess ! " 

"My daughter'd never as much as look at a Roman 

" Oh, yes, she would, if she liked him. I have seen many 


things in my life; I have never yet seen a suitable marriage 
abandoned by a Protestant on account of religious divergence. 
The Jesuits know that I Oh, they know it 1 Look at their work 
in the Almanach de Gotha 1 " 

" I have never made a study of the Almanach de Gotha. I 
believe you have learnt it by heart." 

She laughed. " Well, you see, I am a Baroness, and you are 
a commoner," she answered. " It is immensely interesting, the 
Almanach de Gotha ; you can read the most wonderful romances 
between the lines. But to return to the romance we are con- 
structing. You marry this Dolly of yours, who loves patriots 
and martyrs, and even, probably, counts, to her most romantic 
Italian. He takes you into partnership, and, see, in one month 
we are bathing in money and — frankly — rid of the girl 1 " 

" Modify your expressions," retorted the Colonel angrily. 
But he was more than half fascinated by the prospect held out 
to him. After all, the impossible "system" remains an ever 
possible dream. 

" Well, I have frankly said my say about your daughter. I 
love frankness. Nor, to-day, do not think I shall stay away 
from the rooms." 

" Blanche, I must insist — ^Dorothea will never come a second 
time " 

" Rubbish. Of course you have amiably told her to ignore 
me should we meet^ — ^just as you have a dozen times, very super- 
fluously, requested me to avoid her." 

" I have never mentioned the subject," said the Colonel un- 

"Why not?" 

" I don't know. False shame, I suppose." 

Her face grew purple. She walked hastily to the window. 
" Go," she said in a smothered voice. " Go to this luncheon of 
Count Roden's ; it is time." 

" Why, no, IVe still got half an hour " 

She stamped her foot. "It is time you went," she said. 

The Colonel, with a hot smile on his face, did as he was 
bid. How right he had been about the effect of explanations. 

" Tcheep I Tcheep ! " said the lady to the rapidly retreating 
canary. She tore her small handkerchief across in the clench- 
ing of her nervous hands. 

Meanwhile, the innocent subject of all this discussion was 


seated on the terrace of the " Continental," enjoying the love- 
liest sight she had ever heheld in her life. She had thought 
until now that nothing could be more beautiful, or, at least, 
more enchanting, than the' Baie des Anges, but she found she 
was mistaken. The panorama before and around her seemed 
a vision of a paga^ Paradise. 

Her rapt admiration began to lie heavy on Lord Archie. 
" You ought to come and see it at night," he remarked. " Some 
Carnival night, say, next month." 

" I suppose it is beautifully illuminated," she answered with 
perfunctory interest. 

Lord Archibald stared; a grin broke and died on his face. 
" Well, perhaps you're as well away," he said, " it's apt to get 
common of nights." 

Dorothea glanced round at the little company. Lady Archi- 
bald was certainly "common"; everybody else was the other 

Old Count Roden had insisted on inviting his well-married 
compatriot. "You will put her close to me, Egon," he said. 
" She has neither humor nor wit, nor much sense, but to me 
she is immensely diverting. It is the novelty. I am an old 
man in search of new sensations. Nothing new under the sun ? 
How can stupid people say so ? Now, this sort of social develop- 
ment is as absolutely new as a — ^as a motor car. It will be 
amusing to watch her with your admirable mother. Had she 
married a German, one would of course have avoided her as 
the i)e8tilence, but now she is quite sans consequence." 

" As you wish, uncle Karl." 

The old gentleman went off into a succession of chuckles. 
He was a jolly old gentleman, important and respected. His 
whole life had been a continuous naughtiness, of the sort which 
the world approves. " I shall also ask the Countesses Kauenf els. 
I forbid you to enlighten them. * My dear Countess Bathildis, 
this is Lady Archibald Foye — the Foyes, you know, the Mar- 
quis of Brassingham ' — then I shall leave them to discover her. 
It will take a little time. Finally she will speak to them in the 
South German dialect and tell them — she always does — that she 
was a Biermadel. I hope to be present." He gravely drew his 
long white fingers down his whiter moustache. Taller by a 
couple of inches than any of the other Rodens (whose lowest 
mark was ^yb feet eleven), his slender figure encased in clothes 
that might be a young man's marvel, he knew himself to stand 
out, with his healthy cheeks and silvery hair, a superb example 


of his kind. During all his life he had cared for himself with 
constant and tender care. That life had been largely spent in 
courts, and his outer graces were those of the courtly Emperor's 
time. The Kodens knew that he could at times be both coarsely 
insulting and cheaply kind. 

He stopped chuckling. " Why don't Konrad go back to his 
regiment?" he demanded sharply. "When is his leave up? 
Your family's too numerous, Egon. We're too large a party 
for lunch." He did not wait for an answer. In grey checks, 
a white waistcoat, and a dark red buttonhole, he sat in the hotel 
verandah. His nephew stood before him, almost in the attitude 
of an orderly. 

" Well, it can't be helped," continued the Count. " Nobody 
could sit down to a meal alone with half-a-dozen relations. Why 
don't your father come?" 

" I'm afraid he is not well enough," said Egon. 

"Well, that's one less. But I'm sorry for Justus. Look 
here, Egon, I suppose that Eonrad plays. I won't have any 
playing, do you hear ? " 

" I don't think he plays," replied Egon. " He amuses him- 
self up to a small limit. When he has lost that, he tells me 
he'll stop." 

" Well, that is really the only reasonable * system ' ; it's my 
own. I presume with a wider limit ; nobody could call it play. 
That's what I like in Konrad. There's a certain sneaking, 
cautious, count-the-cost sort of wa^ about his amusements, every 
bit like what I was at his age. Now you, Egon" — ^he turned 
triumphantly to this elder nephew — ^**if you weren't so good, 
what a fool you'd be ! Once you began to plunge, you'd go over, 
like a horse on a cliff; you'd not have the wit to stop yourself. 
You're like your father, who always expended a shilling's worth 
of energy on a pennyworth of fun. Not that your father ever 
plunged. And now look at your father — ^he's done for. While 
I ! " He struck his manly chest. 

Egon turned red. " My father is feeling much better," he 

" Of course. They always do. Poor Justus, does he still 
repeat: Life is glorious? Pooh, you can know the whole man 
by that one stock sentence. Life isn't glorious a bit, but it is 
profoundly interesting. Don't you throw away your chances, 
Egon, as your father did." 

"You have said that to mo before, uncle. I — ^I wish you 
wouldn't put it like that. But, as to my chances, I don't 


see that I have any." His glance sank to his maimed foot. 

" That is an extra attraction," said the old man, whose quick 
eyes nothing escaped. " Most especially in a young Apollo like 
you. Bemember Byron. The women are so made, poor things. 
Unlike us, they are wholly selfish or wholly devoted. Yes, 
Egon, you must marry money, and your limp will be a help. 
It will keep off the bad ones." He took his nephew's arm. 
" Come, let us walk down to the station to meet these people," 
he said. " Why — do you know — even I have a weakness for you, 
on account of your infirmity. I wish I could be certain that 
the property would ultimately come to you when I'm gone." 

"Why, uncle, you always tell me you like Konrad better!" 

" So I do ; he is more my sort% All the same, I have a weak- 
ness for you. How about this English girl your mother was so 
anxious to bring with her? Is she pretty?" 

" I believe so," replied Egon. 

"Believe? But you've seen her." 

" Yes, Fve seen her. However, tastes differ, dear uncle, and 
you are such a connoisseur." 

"Egon, you have some of your father's most exasperating 
tricks. Now, Konrad would have given me a racy little picture 
of the * Englanderin,' dishing her up like a menu." 

" She is Dutch, uncle. I must say I hate the way Konrad 
can describe a woman's composition, as if she were a bowl of 
punch I " 

The luncheon was shrill with laughter, and therefore pre- 
sumably gay. A good deal of noise always rose around Lord 
and Lady Archie. Their whole life was a loud laugh, with little 
behind it. For the la^t few weeks Archibald, industriously 
working a new vein of mercury (but some called it lead), had 
devoted his talents to teaching his consort a tangle of topsy- 
turvy slang. Lady Archibald clearly appreciated the connec- 
tion — in manners and language — ^between idioms and ease, and 
she liked to show, by her lightness and brightness, that she 
wasn't afraid of old frumps. 

"Your trotters can take you to Beaulieu in an hour," she 
had said to the Duchess of Birmingham, who was gouty, and 
half lame and deaf. Lady Archibald had to yell the words 
twice in the presence of half-a-dozen tea-drinkers. "It's your 
own fault," protested Archie, when he'd got her outside. "I 
told you that hoi'ses were ' gees.' " " She's ? " exclaimed the 
German indignantly. "Told me have you not, and, if so, it 
were nothing to the matter. Also I am not such a stupid as not 


to know that horses have two sexes. It is donkeys that are mas- 
culine alone." In the midst of this quarrel it transpired that 
she had told old Sir Jeremy Bumblethorpe to varnish his trotter- 
eases once every season, if we wanted them to look smart. Elated 
by such unexpected success, her artless and artful husband began 
to lay elaborate plots. He informed her that "haricots verts'' 
were the favourite dish of the Bishop of Boring, and then, in 
her presence, invited that prelate to lunch. " Oh, do come, and 
I will give you beans," said the charming Lady Archie, and 
Archibald was happy for a week. Does any one want to hear 
any more of Archie's exploits? How he succeeded in causing 
" the Biermadel " to call Captain Vane, U.S.N"., in his own boat, 
before his own men, at the top of her voice, a " cocky swain " ; 
how he got her to ask the famous flower-grower, Prescott^ 
whether it was true that his newly produced specimen of Arbu- 
tilon was " all rot " ; how — stop ; they who do not already love 
Archie will never learn to love him. Besides, are his deeds not 
inscribed in his book, still unpublished, of original humor? His 
greatest accomplishment was making a sudden screech with his 
lips, exactly like the tearing of a skirt. He tried this with 
eminent success on the Countess Bathildis, poor, half-blind old 
body, who fumbled about, all the long afternoon, to find out 
the rent. 

" I say," whispered Archie to Egon, as the guests took their 
places. " She's just said * go along ! ' to that old Mother Hub- 
bard with the toothache. She believes that it's English for 
* after you ! ' " The " toothache " was a more or less appropriate 
allusion to the broad bands of the old Countess's black straw 
hat. Yet Archibald, though he laughed at everybody, includ- 
ing himself, was fond of old women. His care for his mother 
had been proverbial in the family. The poor Marchioness wept 
many bitter tears at the loss of this son who, as a small boy, 
had put cobbler's wax on her chair, and then plumped down on 
his knees, with streaming cheeks, when she could not rise from 

" Oh, Lord, help mother to get up again ! " he had roared. 
" Oh, Lord, help mother to get up again I " That the wax did 
not melt immediately had been a great shock, all through life, 
to Lord Archibald. 

The two old Countesses von Kauenfels were queer, good- 
natured, dumpy old creatures in grey alpaca. There was a soft- 
ness about their features which bespoke long ages of inherited 
refinement, and the shape of their hands alone was a brevet of 


pre-revolution nobility. The people whose ancestors came into 
existence after '89 must always remain distinguishable from 
the people whose ancestors died before. 

The two Countesses behaved charmingly to " the young Eng- 
lish Miladi," in their pretty old-fashioned shyness. Doubtless 
they had many friends in common? After these they began 
amiably to inquire. Lady Archibald, who, of course, had never 
heard of the people, answered demurely, with a great affectation 
of propriety, and assured them that every one was in excellent 
health. Suddenly, however, tiring of her role, she declared that 
Lady Butterton was dead. 

"Dead!" exclaimed Bathildis in grief and amazement. 
'^ Frederica, listen ; can it be possible ? Maria Butterton dead I 
And we heard from her only last month I " 

"Oh, well, if it isn't Maria, it's somebody else," said Lady 
Archibald, and she turned round to Konrad, with whom she 
took up a long-standing flirtation in her own broad South Ger- 
man patois. " What — ^what — ^what is this ? " gasped the Coun- 
tess Bathildis to her host. 

" Did you not know," asked the latter with a smile, " that 
Lord Archibald had married a German ? " 

The Countess Bathildis looked from the wife to the husband 
and back again twice — ^three glances in all, containing a three- 
volume novel. Then she resolutely faced Colonel Sandring, who 
began to talk at once of the tables. 

" I never go near them," said Bathildis. " We have a house 
here. The only possible way to live at Monte Carlo is not to 
know that the tables exist." She took no further notice of 
" that terrible person," who greatly enjoyed an impression thus 
easily made. 

"Is that your daughter?" inquired the old lady of Colonel 
Sandring, as Dorothea's laugh rose up clear at some silly sally 
of Archie's. She smiled towards the other end of the table and 
nodded benevolently. " I like to hear young people laugh," she 
said. " Have you ever noticed, there is nothing in all the world 
you can so unerringly judge refinement by as a laugh ?" Lady 
Archibald sat shrieking with Konrad. 

" Diese entsetzliche Person ! " muttered the Countess Bath- 
ildis repeatedly to herself as the company rose from table, and 
she twisted about in search of the tear in her gown and her 
tortoise-shell glasses. The latter Lady Archibald found for her 
and presented with an adorably impertinent little curtsey. 

" Ah, you did not know we were compatriots ? " said the 


" person." " But, yes, before I married my Archie I was * Bicr- 
madel ' at the ' Grosser Kurf iirst ' in Kissingen ! I have .often 
seen your brother there, *des Franzchen'; he squints. Often 
have I said to him : ' Why do you come here ? You will never 
get better by the water as long as you drink so much beer! ' " 

The old Countess glared. 

" Tell him so from me, once again, when you write ! " cried 
the blue-eyed tormentress, and ran away laughing after Konrad. 

Bathildis turned, breathless, to right and left. She struck 
her black cane on the floor and said audibly : " Ich bitte — ^a 
gentleman I " She held out her hand to Egon. " Conduct me 
to my carriage ! " she said. 

But he mildly led her across to the verandah, to have some 
coffee. "What, Bathildis? Not running away?" cried the 

The challenge, intentional or not, roused the tiger that sleeps 
in every blue-blooded old woman. " Indeed, I am not running 
away," she retorted. " Come, Egon, sit beside me, a little away 
from the noise. I am old. What does your mother make of 
this 'person'?" 

" Oh, well — I heard mother saying how pretty she was." 

" Oh 1 That, we know, with your family, excuses everything. 
Of course she is pretty, in her way. All the peasants about 
Kauenfels are pretty like that." 

Egon thought that the lonely old castle in Wiirtemberg must 
be quite a desirable place of abode. 

" I might have seen what sort of a creature she was by just 
her sort of prettiness. We weren't pretty. My father used 
often to tell us that we were the only plain girls about the place. 
' You aren't like the peasants,' my dear father used to say." 

" But, Comtesse " protested the unfortunate young man. 

" What ? " She twinkled her blind old eyes at him. " Well, 
what are you trying to say? Do not make yourself foolish, my 
child. Do you think an old woman like me seeks for compli- 
ments? I remember hearing your father say once, when your 
age, that all ugly women ought to be drowned. That is what 
you Rodens think. It served me right. I was listening behind 
the door." 

With a shock Egon Roden realised that this must be the 
wealthy cousin his father had refused to marry. His eyes 
strayed to his mother's delicate face, like a porcelain flower, and 
back to the rugged old lady. Here was a woman's whole tragedy 
in a word. 


^ I have never listened behind doors again," said Bathildis 

''My father has always enjoyed saying sharp things and 
thinking soft ones," stammered Egon, hot and flurried. " You 
know very well that he didn't mean you." 

"You think not? Now, how kind of you to say sol And 
for thirty years I have fancied he did t " She laughed heartily, 
with her hand on his forearm. '' Put my coffee on the table," 
she added. ''The other side, opposite Lady Archibald! 

She sat down at the table and leisurely stirred the liquid, 
until there befell a moment of universal silence, and then — 

" Yes, my dear Lady Archibald Foye," she said in pellucid 
accents — and si>eaking the husband's language. "I shall cer- 
tainly give my brother your very kind message. You must not 
feel hurt if he does not remember you. It is of course much 
more natural that you should remember him." 

Lady Archibald reddened slightly. " He need not remember 
of me," she said. " What he must do to remember is to drink 
less beer." 

" Doubtless he does drink less, since you are no longer there 
to tempt him. Yes, certainly, he has little foibles, my brother : 
I do not deny it." She sighed and assumed that little air of 
confusion with which righteous females salute, in conversation, 
the approach of the unapproachable. "And bigger ones, too, 
alas! Lord Archibald, your charming lady informs me that 
she knows my brother well. She knew him, it appears, before 
you were engaged to her, when she was — otherwise engaged." 

She turned to Count von Hoden, and, still persistently speak- 
ing English, " Yes, my brother is still unmarried," she said. " I 
fear he is not of the sort of men that marry. He likes to enjoy 
himself, poor Franz ! " Then for ten minutes longer she talked 
in her native language to Madame de Hoden of the decadence 
of society and the breaking-down of barriers, after which she 
departed, carrying with her her ever acquiescent sister. " Fare- 
well," she said, "my good Lady Archibald; I shall certainly 
give my brother your message. How strange that you should 
have known him so well ! " 


Dorothea paused on the steps of the Casino. " It looks even 
more beautiful, if possible," she said, " than it did an hour ago." 

" That's the luncheon," replied Archie, morosely, " a good 
luncheon always makes me feel like that. Yes, it was a beauti- 
ful luncheon." 

" Come into the rooms," intferjected Egon. " The sight will 
amuse you for half an hour." 

Play was of course in progress at all the tables over all the 
crowded place. The vista of halls hung heavy with gilding, and 
clouded light, and stuffy air. Heaviness, that was the all-per- 
vading atmosphere, and under it a breathless concentration of 
intensest human thought. The far aisle, pillared and painted 
in gorgeous ornamentation, recalled some dim Southern basilica 
— such, for instance, as Santa Maria Maggiore — a desecrated 
temple, and yet not desecrated truly, a palace of most certain 
devotion, religiously up-builded by earnest-hearted votaries, 
spontaneously made brilliant with the symbolism and carefully 
adapted to the service of the God. The Exchange and the 
Bourse are too noisy. They present an insidious pretension of 
work. There hangs about them a false glamor of honest earn- 
ings. Monte Carlo is very different from these. Here is held 
the high service of Mammon in its purely religious aspect, un- 
trammelled by all considerations of labor, a sort of inverted 
Litany, a Messe IToire, the adoration, the supplication of the 
deity — ^We beseech Thee to hear us, our God I About all forms 
of sincere devotion, however fantastic, a certain impressiveness 
slowly fastens, and to the sympathetic student of his kind there 
is something grotesquely sacred in the scene at the gambling 
rooms. For here, in its hideous enticing nakedness, stands 
revealed to the eyes of the scomer, the weeper and the slave, 
that cult which is stronger than all other mortal religions, philos- 
ophies, fine aspirations, stronger than honor and fear and all 
passing affections — ay, seemingly stronger than God in His 
empty cathedrals — the abandonment, body and soul, to the Lord 
of the Ages, the thirst of the whole human heart towards gold. 


To describe that still fervor of worship were idle: he who has 
once observed it can never forget. 

A glance round the gaudy and sordid assembly swept clouds 
of uncertainty from Dorothea's inexperienced brain. All the 
queer people of Nice were here. These, then, were the gamblers. 
Suddenly it seemed to her as if she had always understood. The 
class that cannot earn money, but can only inherit or steal it: 
the up-to-date "upper class" of Europe, its promiscuous 
** society," the scum at the top. 

Le demi-monde, on the lips of Dumas, meant the fringe of 
the great one. Conditions have changed, and, vnth the dis- 
appearance of the contrast, we no longer understand, but can 
only misapply, the term. There is no great world now. There 
is only, above the quiet, constant aristocracies of hearth and 
home and mart and village, the noisy crowd of blackguards that 
are rich. 

Dorothea, with Egon behind her, stopped near a crowded 
table, full of the usual murmur, jingle and stress. People were 
putting down their money: the twang cf the croupiers broke 
through the general buzz. 

" That woman opposite," whispered the young man at the 
novice's shoulder, " they call ' Baroness,' but she isn't. The one 
seated in front of her they call * Your Royal Highness,' and 
she is ! " 

Dorothea's glance followed his guidance. A suppressed cry 
of surprise touched her lips. 

" Somebody you know ? " 

" Oh, she's playing ! " said Dorothea. " 'No, nobody I know 
— exactly." She could not but remember Madame de Barvielle 
in kindness. Dorothea was not of those who forget small ser^ 
vices. She wondered what had become of the little text-book. 
For a moment she stood watching the lady, who was busy prick- 
ing her card. 

" Faites votre jeu, messieurs I f aites votre jeu ! " 

The Colonel crept up behind her, apparently cool. " There's 
an old Russian princess winning heaps in the other room," he 
suggested; "come and look." 

She flashed her bright eyes around immediately. " Yes, I'm 
coming," she said. " Look, father, there's the lady who lent me 
the money in the train: I should just like to ask if the post- 
office order ever reached her ^" 

" D ! " answered the Colonel, full into her eyes. She fell 

back, as if he had flung out his flst. He was a man of few 


oaths : he had muttered an occasional mild imprecation in her 
presence : he had never thus fiercely cast an oath into her face. 
In a second he had entirely recovered himself. "Nobody can 
speak in this place to people they don't know/' he said curtly. 
" Dear girl, do let well alone." 

His daughter shrank away out of sight, behind a burly 
Frenchman : in doing so she saw the lady opposite look up from 
her card towards the Colonel, saw a swift flash of recognition 
lighten across from one to the other, understood, in that tenth 
of a second, that a certain degree of intimacy existed between 
her father and this Baroness of the roulette, her companion of 
the train. A dozen arranged meetings in public would not have 
argued, to a woman, such a close degree of intercourse as lay 
in that one leap of the eye. 

She stepped hastily forward, seeking to escape from the 
crush: her vexed glances flew rapidly to and fro. Somebody 
moved aside with a rustle, thinking she wanted to stake. For 
one instant she stood fully revealed before a dingy background 
of broadcloth, in her tailor-made shaggy-white costume: 
Madame, raking gold to a number, half -turned in the direction 
of the sudden bright spot. Their eyes met. Madame's look was 
quite stony. 

" Hien ne va plus I " The little ball clashed into its hole. 
" Please, please — ^let us go away ! " the girl said softly to Egou. 
" Yes, ccftne : I will show you the Trente et Quarante." 

Colonel Sandring stood watching his daughter's departing 
figure. How well she looked in that frock, like a calla lily I 
What unnecessary complications women made ! 

With a rather heightened color he sauntered across the mid- 
dle room, vaguely pondering on possible solutions. And there 
— really, it seemed almost an indication from Providence — stood 

He pulled the Italian by the sleeve. " I say, come and have 
tea with us outside," he said. 

" Go to the devil I " replied Pini, without turning. 

"By Jove, have you gone mad?" cried the exasperated 

" There ! You've broken my run of luck I " Signer Pini 
flew round. 

" I am truly sorry," said Sandring, with a colleague's — and 
now even a collaborator's — intelligent sympathy. " Only, I 
wanted to make you better acquainted with my daughter. The 
story of your sufferings has greatly impressed her." 


" I have not troubled the young lady with the story of my 
Bufferings," replied Pini proudly, " but she has an angel's swift- 
ness towards all that is good." 

'' She's romantic, you know, like what nice girls are. She 
doesn't seem favorably impressed by this place. You will 
make a delightful diversion with 'Italia fara da se.' Begad, 
she believes you're a hero." 

" So I was, once," replied the Italian, in a voice from the 
tomb. " It does not become a brave man to mock at bravery." 

They were out in the light and spiicious entrance hall, with 
its ceaseless to and fro. In the middle of all the hurry the 
Colonel held out his hand. 

" You are right," he said. , 

"I bravi s'abbracciano," responded the Italian. For one 
awful instant Sandring thought this was going to happen. He 
shook in his shoes. 

Meanwhile Egon and Dorothea had passed into the inner- 
most room. At the selectest of the Trente et Quarante tables 
they found Lady Archibald, with Konrad very docile beside her, 
dropping tiny napoleons on to the vast green cloth. "I am 
doing a piety," said the lady, " pray have the goodness not to 
look disapproval." Dorothea endeavored to regard her with 
admiration, but only succeeded in marking surprise. 

" It is — a — ^what do you call it ? — some sort of animal I " 
yawned Lady Archie, "but, you see, I am doing of my duty, 
so Herr Konrad says I ought to feel glad." 

" Are you punting for Archie ? " inquired Egon. 

"Ah, no! but I promised Archie's bishop to play a whole 
hour for his 'Rookeries.' I know not what are Rookeries, do 
you ? It is something of religion. Archie says it has to do with 
the birds — ^jailbirds — ^and beaks, but that of course is his non- 
sense. I never believe Archie no more." 

"Well, I hope you are winning?" said Dorothea, much 

" Indeed, yes. Put another louis on couleur, Herr Konrad. 
But it would not be a grief, if I lost, for the louis are Herr 

" Please, let us go out I " said Dorothea, and once more her 
obedient companion willingly followed her. She naturally 
avoided, on her way to the entrance, the comer in which she 
had encountered Madame de Barvielle. She was quite close to 
the table on the further side before she noticed that the lady 


had moved to it. She halted, just a hiteh, and was passing 

" Come round here — ^there is less of a crush I " said Egon 
quickly but awkwardly. He flung himself between her and the 
touch of the other's skirt. 

She walked on without a word, ahead of him. Out of the 
stifle and rattle of the rooms, out of the whirl and the patter 
of the vestibule, round to the great deserted terrace, to the 
silence of sun-lit immensity, the splendor, the glitter and green- 
ery : radiant heaven high above, radiant sea deep below, radiant 
flowers all round. 

She advanced to the balustrade and stood looking out on 
the water. She drew a long breath and tried not to think of 
that woman, her father's acquaintance, whom von Roden had 
not wanted her to touch. But the recollection rolled down 
heavy on her heart of the night in the train, of the evening in 
Paris, the meeting at the <jlrand Hotel. 

A shot rang out exactly under her feet. Dorothea saw the 
bird flutter struggling across the greensward, saw the dog run 
out and seize it in his mouth, saw the trap door shut down. 

" Oh, the pigeon-shooting ! " she said. " What brutes men 

Egon Roden pulled at his moustache. **Well, I grant you 
it's an ugly sight, though scores of women like it. Sport, you 

" Sport? " she turned. " Call it poulterer's work." 

" Oh, now you're too hard. However, I admit it : we are 

" Yes," she said musingly. " Still I have heard that the poor 
are cruel from indifference or ignorance, rarely for fim." The 
shot rang out again: she fairly fled up the terrace. 

Egon von Roden came limping after her. She was stand- 
ing by a mass of Japanese medlars, in a great cloud of perfume. 
Her cheeks were aglow. " Please do not laugh at me ! " she 
pleaded. "You see, I have never before been away from my 
village, except for a trip up the Rhine or to Switzerland, where 
the people seemed good as at home. I have never been in places 
like this. The dark places of the earth are full of wickedness, 
says the Bible, and of course one knows it must be so; but 
here all the wickedness is out in the sunlight, for every one to 
see and admire! You must think me half crazy" — the tears 
were in her eyes — ^^*you that have been everywhere, and seen 


everything, but I don't care; I can't help it. Oh, take me away 
from this horrible place ! " 

" Let us walk round to the restaurants," he said, gently ; 
" your father will be expecting us. I haven't been everywhere 
and seen everything — ^by no means. We are quite simple folk. 
Please feel at home with all of us." 

She made a violent effort to calm herself. " I do," she said 
with great simplicity. " You are like my own people — at Brod- 

" We have always lived together quite quietly at home, with 
my father and mother to look after us," he continued, smiling. 
" You cannot think what a splendid thing it is to have had such 
a father as mine I " 

"I think I can," she answered, with slow weighing of the 
words. The Colonel and Signer Pini were signalling to them 
from a little table. The Colonel was always punctual, but never 
impatient, he said. 

"Herr von Roden," said the Colonel, "let me make you 
acquainted with Count Pini Pizzatelli. Dorothea, you have 
met the signore." 

The Italian stood bowing to the dust. " Mademoiselle," he 
said, " your gallant father was telling me you deign to love us 
a little, us Italians." 

" Oh, yes I " replied Dorothea, " but I never met an Italian 
before." She did not see why her father need laugh so immoder- 
ately. " Italy is an idea," she continued confusedly, " it means 
everything to all of us I All civilized nations love Italy ! " 

" Bravo, you are improving. You got out of that rather 
neatly ! " cried the Colonel. Egon scowled at Colonel Sandring. 

" Ah, you were not a stranger in my country ! " 'declared the 
Italian. "All things beautiful — ^true — ^are at home on that 
soil." Egon scowled at Count Pini. 

" Doubtless, some day you will behold it.- In a month I shall 
be in a condition to return — ah, and how! — to my fatherland. 
Then you and your father will visit me at ITaples. ITaplesI 
Hush : listen I To drive you, with our swift little horses, along 
Posilippo to Baiae; suddenly we turn the comer where !N'icida 
sleeps, far out in its bay I Then, slow, slow, along the water, 
seeing Paradise reflected in the rapture of two beautiful eyes I " 
In his own gaze lay, awakened, the dreams of his boyhood. Dully 
they sank back into their grave. " And the fools who have never 
seen Naples," he murmured, " tell us that Paradise is lost." 


" Surely it cannot be finer than this ? " remarked Egon, offer- 
ing Dorothea biscuits, sugar, whatever stood near him. 

But Pini took no notice of the German ; his eyes were fixed 
on Miss Sandring. " My dear young lady," he said, " perhaps 
I have forgotten. Qt perhaps I remember too well." 

" Oh, what must it have cost you to leave it ! " 

" My life," replied the Italian. " The life I have lived. 
Death, the life one lays down — ah, that is a little sacrifice." 

Egon shoved the biscuits across to him. " Did you ever meet 
Garibaldi?" asked Egon. 

Signer Pini lifted his wide-awake. " In the moment of vie- 
tory," he said, " I have kissed Garibaldi." 

The Colonel shivered in the warm air. " Why, I never knew 
you had actually borne arms ! " he cried in a burst of genuine 
cordiality. " Bravo, you are one of Garibaldi's veterans ! We 
were comrades, then, before I knew of it, soldiers of fortune, 
you and I ! " 

" Let me finish," concluded Pini, ** I have kissed Garibaldi, 
in effigy, every time that I heard of some new feat of arms. I, 
in my garret at Paris, where his picture graced the unpapered 
wall. But I never was privileged to look on his face. What 
will you have ? I was ever of the luckless. But the wheel turns 
at last." 

" That's right," said Egon heartily. 

"In my country, for instance," continued Pini, "all learn 
all the languages. See here : nobody wants to learn Italian ! " 
The Colonel tried to wink at somebody, but Dorothea was gazing 
at Pini, and Egon was gazing at Dorothea. 

" Behold now, this miserable Riviera, a hotbed of crime ! At 
Ospidaletti, just over yonder, a company would build a casino : 
what said Italy? It means millions. It means dishonor. I am 
poor. I am honorable. 'No ! " 

"Well, that's true," admitted the Colonel. His daughter's 
lips parted in astonishment over the happy inventor of the 

" Behold, then, the absurd administration ! " continued the 
enthusiastic exile. "The port! The railways I The police! 
The army ! Here, what corruption, what incapacity ! In Italy, 
what excellence, in all ! " 

The Colonel, unable to contain himself, winked at a small 
dog, come for a biscuit. The dog at least winked back. 

" In Sicily — ^ah, povera Sicilia ! — ^bull-fights were to be organ- 
ised for visitors, a whole industry, a new source of prosperity. 


What answered TJmberto 9 ** He rose and rolled forth the words : 
^'Piuttosto perdere il trono che di vedere un tale barbarismo 
8ul suolo italiano I " 

The Colonel rose also, not uncontent with his daughter's 
flushed delight. "Praise Umberto as much as you like," he 
said, " few people will disagree with you there. But, dear me, 
Italian is terribly sonorous in the open air! Gome, Dolly, we 
must be off to the station." 

Signor Pini accompanied them down the descent. "But 
Prance ? " he said, " she is the cocotte among the nations. She 
has all the vices and the virtues of the cocotte." 

" What is a cocotte ? " queried Dorothea. 

" A woman who is both lovely and not too good," interposed 
the Colonel hastily. " Well, Pini, that is a delightful combina- 
tion. Come to lunch some day. Good-bye." 

"Could anything be more pleasing," said the bending 
Italian, "than to escape for an hour from this palace of the 
devil and repose, learning virtue, at the feet of an angel ? " Both 
the Colonel and Dorothea felt unable to master this conum- 
drum, but Egon responded, rather fervently, that, no, indeed, 
nothing could. 

Dorothea was loud in her praises of Pini's idealism, enthu- 
siasm, self-sacrifice. Her two companions listened, amused. 
Decidedly, thought the Colonel, Blanche was even cleverer than 
he knew — ^her very imbecilities, he said, are cleverness disguised. 

In the crush of the corridor train Dorothea was carried away 
from the rest of the party. Unable to find a seat, she was push- 
ing leisurely up the gangway, when Lord Archibald's shrill 
accents arrested her. Lord Archibald, thanks to the old Coun- 
tess Bathildis, had gone on the fret. Post-marital flirtations, 
he always averred, left him "unaffectedly unaffected," but 
thoughts of the Biermadel's possible antecedents gave him the 
shivers down the small of his back. To punish her, he had 
first invited Konrad to dinner and then carried him off alone 
to the "London House" at !N'ice. It was Archie's voice that 
now escaped from a 'smoking compartment. 

"That's a nice girl: — a very decent girl indeed. But the 
Colonel should take her off to Cannes. Cannes is the place for 
her sort. Especially with that woman about." 

"What woman?" queried Konrad, and Dorothea's heart 
stood still for an answer. 

"Why! Blanche de Fleuryse." 

Dorothea's heart gave a leap of relief. But the next moment 


she wondered why it had done so. She was certain of nothing, 
excepting an atmosphere of allusion and her own vague discon- 

She opened the door of her bedroom at last with a sense of 
exhaustion, but, lo and behold, in the middle of the floor stood, 
ready for battle, Rebecca. 

" Freule," said Rebecca, " I want to go home to Holland to- 

" That,*' replied Dorothea, " I regret to say, is beyond mortal 
power. But of course you could start." 

" The vessels of the abomination of Babylon are full," said 
the handmaid, sternly rubbing her nose. 

Dorothea paused in the action of drawing the pin from her 
hat. " Somehow your texts soimd so curiously unconvincing," 
she made answer. " Could you give me chapter and verse for 
that one?" 

"The letter killeth," retorted Rebecca promptly, "but the 
spirit — spirit " 

"Well?" said Dorothea, provokingly. 

" Doesn't," concluded the spinster, undeniably put out. 

Dorothea laughed; then her eyes filled with sudden gravity, 
as she fixed them on the maid. " The spirit maketh alive," she 
said thoughtfully, " maketh alive." 

" Well, at any rate, I'm going home," barked Rebecca. 

" You leave me alone then — ^in Babylon ? " suggested Doro- 
thea, continuing her toilet. 

Rebecca stood by the door and crooked her long forefinger. 
" Come out of here ! " she said. 

" There's nothing behind you but the passage," replied Doro- 
thea, impatiently. " Do help me dress. Or no, go away, please, 
and worry some one else that's not worried already. Of course 
I will send you back if you wish it. You're the only person I 
can talk to of the aunts, and the village, and the dogs, and 
everything, but that's neither here nor there. I must stay with 
my father." 

The Dutchwoman folded her arms across her breast: for 
the first time a look of sympathy came into her colorless eyes. 
" Must you ? " she said, with that horrible rasp of hers. " Poor 
lamb! no, you mustn't. Come home." 

" Give me the foulard with the flowers," answered Dorothea. 

With a grumph Rebecca produced from a wardrobe a flimsy 
white dinner-gown covered with irises. She held it out scorn- 
fully at arm's length. 


" It's a metcy Miss Mary ean't see you in that frock ! " said 
Rebecca, " it'd break her gentle heart. I thought, for the abom- 
ination of wickedness, Brodryek'd have satisfied the devil; but 
la I I know now where Satan's seat is. Well, you've sat down 
in it ; some day you'll find it hot." 

" Not till May," replied Dorothea, " I shall be gone before 
then. But you'd better depart if you're quite sure you mean 
it this time." 

" Your rank may be some sort of protection," was the hand- 
maid's rejoinder, ^'though I don't see how it should be, for 
God's no respecter of persons ; but I can't stay in this hotel any 
longer. It isn't a fit place for a onaiden like me." 

" Who has been making love to you now? " asked Dorothea, 
fastening on her father's bracelet. 

" The way that that under-cook behaves is such as no self- 
resx)ecting maiden could endure ! " 

" So you fly before the enemy ? " 

Rebecca grinned. " But not before I've beat him," she cried. 
" I threw his pink cream in his face. I'll teach him to foist his 
French slops on me. ^ It's not even riz,' I said, and * Creams 
don't riz,' says he (I suppose), but I " 

" La Poste," spake a voice at the door, and the concierge 
handed in a black-edged letter, and also a note from the Colonel : 
^'A. Foye has asked me to join them at the 'London House.' 
Sleep well." She dismissed Rebecca immediately, and as she 
turned, with the black-edged letter in her hand, she caught a 
long glimpse of her figure in the modest demie-toilette that the 
uncouth maid had condemned. Decidedly, the Colonel dressed 
her admirably, with simplicity, distinction, and expense. 

She sat down to her black-edged letter, but already she knew^ 
from the writing, its contents. The old pastor of Brodryck was 
dead. He had sent his love to Dorothea. 

She recalled Rebecca. " Tell them I shall not come down to 
dinner," she said. " When you have definitely made up your 
mind about going, we can discuss the when and the how. You 
have threatened and refused so often. But of course you must 
do as you like." 

Rebecca lifted up both lank hands to the ceiling. "Do as 
I like ? " she cried. " Thank Heaven, I have never done as I 
liked ! They only can do as they like who like to do wickedness ! 
And you declining the food God sends you, and it has to be 
paid for just the same ! " She shuffled out of the room. 

Dorothea returned, with a sigh of relief, to the troublous 


repose of her thoughts. All her old life came back to her in the 
minister's loss. She sat by the smouldering wood fire, and saw 
in its fading glow the winter village out yonder enshrouded 
by mists; saw the aunts at their desolate tea-table, uncle Tony 
hallooing in the woods. 

Presently she imlocked her little travelling-desk and found 
a bit of paper in it. The hurry of leaving home had caused 
her somewhat to overlook at the time the old pastor's birthday 
message, but the words of those who have passed into the eternal 
silence suddenly start from the changeless page into almost 
painful activity. The text the good man had sent her did not 
convey much immediate meaning to such sheltered lives as hers : 
" And to keep yourselves unspotted from the world ! " 

"And to keep yourselves unspotted from the world." 
Mechanically she sat stroking the back of one hand with the 
other, as if to wipe off the dim stains of the day. What had 
happened to her to make her feel soiled as well as saddened? 
She seemed to see herself in a far, far distance, dressing in this 
room this morning, to go with the Kodens to Monte Carlo. And 
now she sat in this room again and had come back, and a dozen 
dead words were burning down into her bosom, alive with a 
red-hot glow like the depths of awakened embers. 

She went and drew aside the window-curtains, to let some 
coolness in upon her heat. All the wide host of heaven poured 
down their radiance upon her. She stood for a moment, dis- 
tressed. These were the same stars that smiled on aunt Mary's 
lonely walks at even, the same that pierced through the im- 
shrouded casements into the deserted chamber at Brodryck 
House. She wondered if her father ever recalled that room, 
with its empty bedstead ? Yes, the stars were the same. It was 
a stale thought, like all great thoughts: thousands of desolate 
sorrowers had found in it slow consolation. Her head sank on 
the window-ledge. She had not wept since she kissed the aunts 
good-bye. Like all the few women who seldom cry, she detested 
tears. But to-night she shed them freely on the freshly-fallen 
blots that no tears could weep away. 

She kept on her dinner-dress, to avoid all questions, and sat 
up late, waiting for the Colonel to return. It was past one ere 
she heard him, and could go across to his door. He turned, 
irritably. "What on earth? — ^Why, Dorothea? — ^anything the 
matter? " He threw his silk neckerchief over a couple of photo- 
graphs, loose on the table, but already Dorothea had perceived 
that they represented a very decolleiee " Madame de Barvielle." 


An odor of spirits pervaded the room: the Colonel looked 

" Father," she said, standing, very white, by the door, " I 
wanted to ask you, do you care about stopping at Nice ? Would 
you take me somewhere else for a little? " 

Colonel Sandring stared, open-mouthed, and his daughter 
could not help wishing he would pull his face together. " Leave 
Nice ! " he exclaimed at last. " What I the week before the Car- 
nival? Why, people are glad to get a bed on a billiard-table I 
All the festivities are coming on! Really, Dorothea, you are 
hard to please. Pray, where do you want to go to ? " 

"I thought, perhaps, Italy — ^Florence " 

Her father burst into almost ribald laughter. " I certainly 
hadn't credited Count Pini's eloquence with such immediate 
effect ! " he cried. " He is coming to lunch on Sunday : you 
must ask him to show you his place himself. Really, Dolly, I 
cannot start off with you, romance-hunting in Italy. Besides, 
where is the money to come from? Your uncle Tony has just 
written that he won't even send enough to buy you clothes." 

He held open the door for his daughter to pass out, and 
kissed her on the forehead, with breath that was fidl of wine. 


Carnival week is of course the culminating x>oiiit of the 
Biviera season. All the light world of Paris, deserting for a 
few nights the disconsolate boulevards, pours down to the Medi- 
terranean in whirlpools of gaiety and fills with a sudden wide 
scintillation of extravagance the palm-groves and palaces of the 
South. The fairest pearls that glitter in the locks of sea-bom 
Venus she now shakes in sad profusion along this favored coast. 
You can have the facile jewels for the lifting: but they cost 
you all a man is worth. You can stand aside and stare : so do, 
in vast-mouthed admiration, the great hordes of eager trippers, 
now more numerous than ever, brought across, in teeming ship- 
loads, in the gross (gross, and by the gross) at fifteen guineas, 
there and back. Back — it is an excellent arrangement, but 
what avails it us, O blind leaders of the blind — ^as long as you 
send fresh ones out? 

After one long night of vain self-torment and two short 
nights of youthful slumber, Dorothea enjoyed the Carnival. A 
daughter's sight must be very clear not to ignore her father's 
faults. She went through all the festivities with the Rodens, 
her friends and protectors — ^yes, undoubtedly Egon von Eoden 
protected her a very great deal. Konrad once suggested that 
she might deem Egon officious, but, then, Konrad says disagree- 
able things. Dorothea does not: in the gladness of her heart 
she rejoiced to tell her father, how much she was pleased with 
the costumes, the fun and the flowers. Sandring did not 
answer : " You see ! " but only : " My dear, I'm so glad." Every 
one who first beholds a battle of flowers is charmed with it: 
rumor says there are people who can even take part in two. 
Why Archie and "Dickie" have been to a dozen: the Count- 
esses Kauenfels, old-time residents, to none. 

" It's the best joke going," says Archie ; " I wouldn't miss 
one for the world I " And indeed, in these days of rowdyism 
and shying the practical humor of the !N'ortherner has a splendid 
time. The native, whose idea was gallantry, coquetry, light 
flinging of bouquets, stops away from a free %ht with bunches 
of stock. 



Along the unending esplanade that skirts with its border of 
white hotels the proud sweep of the Bale des Anges, between 
bright clouds thronging the stands full of banners and music, 
crawled in ascending and descending lines the decorated 
vehicles, come to do battle. The sunshine streamed down on 
them, glorifying everything : the whole scene was beautiful with 
brilliant light. On they moved, amid very little laughter or 
pleasantry, comically solemn, masses of mimosa, under the silent 
shower of the nosegays that fell from the stands to the carriages, 
from the carriages to each other and again to the stands. Some 
of the bunches were very dirty, and had been picked up a good 
many times out of the road before they were aimed at your face. 
Every now and then a really beautiful carriage came by, con- 
taining a star, at her zenith in Paris, or else probably a Eussian 
prince; these were accompanied on their passage by the run- 
ning applause of the crowd. The Kodens arrived in a four- 
horse brake, a big cloud of anemones and carnations, with the 
occupants also all white and red. The young people were in 
very high spirits, inclined to mock at the General's protesta- 
tions of fiBsthetic incongruity. The mother spoke of pitying 
the poor down-trodden blossoms in the roadway. The children 
laughed and threw flowers. 

"Nobody looks rational but the horses," said the General, 
" for the horses are consciously absurd. See that poor thing 
over yonder trying to whisk away from its harness what it knows 
has no right to be there ! " 

" It ought to be proud of such violets," began Egon. " That's 
one of the best — oh, I say I " 

The Baroness Blanche de Fleuryse, who had just risen in her 
bower of white lilacs and violets, ready to inundate the approach- 
ing brake, suddenly offered only a sight of her white and lilac 
back, while she scattered the odorous contents of her hands to 
a group of delighted roughs behind the palings. But the reck- 
less Pini, leaping from beside her, presented to Dorothea Sand- 
ring an enormous bouquet of camellias, with a blue forget-me- 
not " D " in the middle and the tricolor of Italy pendant from 
the stem. The two carriages rolled on. Signor Pini stood kiss- 
ing his finger-tips to the company, in white pique and violet hat- 
band, very smart, down the middle of the road. 

" Why, that is the man they told me was winning such sums 
at Monte Carlo ! " cried General von Eoden. " Is he a friend 
of yours. Colonel ? You might get him to give you a tip." 

But the furious Fleuryse received Pini very badly, " Choose, 


then, some other occasion," she said, ''for paying your court 

''But why? We shall soon be, all four, a united family I 
For my secret the Colonel would sell me his soul." 

"You are mistaken. Colonel Sandring cares nothing for 
acquiring money: he spends it just the same." 

" Possibly I But in him is aroused the gambler's curiosity. 
He mtist know. There is only one way: he will take it." 

"Ciel, yonder is the Biermadel with the old Count von 
Boden I Everything is achievable nowadays for all of us I " 

Pini smiled meaningly. " When I have conquered my angel 
and my millions," he said to himself, " dear mother-in-law, fare- 

A few moments later Egon received a blow in the face, which 
knocked off his hat, and glanced up to see Lady Archibald grin- 
ning at Konrad. 

" You look as if you had been beaten in battle," said the 

Egon smiled. " You have not seen, sir," he answered, " the 
wounds of my foe." 

" Father," began Dorothea that evening, " this is the second 
time Signer Pini has given me a bouquet. The last was given 
in private, when he lunched here. I suppose there is no harm 
in his bringing me flowers. He is old enough to be my grand- 

" Thank you," answered the Colonel, piqued. " He is about 
uiy age, as a fact. And some people think he looks younger. 
He is wonderfully well preserved." 

" Only — ^I — ^thought — ^" continued Dorothea, not understand- 
ing one word of the Colonel's reply, "that, seeing he is so 
poor ^" 

" He isn't poor a bit. Not really poor. He — ^he pretends to 

" But he gives lessons " 

"Well, yes, they — amuse him. He has a most generous 
heart, and his one idea is to diffuse the finest language in the 
world. " He gives lessons from patriotism! " added the Colonel, 
carried away by his own ingenuity. 

" Dear me," said Dorothea, distress in her grave eyes, " and 
I offered him money." 

"You should not have done that, Dorothea. Never offer 
anybody money. If they need it, the offer is injudicious; if 


they don't, it is absurd. You are very young, Dorothea; you 
have still a great deal to leam, my dear." 

" Yes," answered Dorothea. " It is good of you to teach me, 
father. You are patient with me." 

" Signor Pini loves to do good, like your aunts. He reminds 
me, in many ways, of your aunts." 

" I — ^I see," replied Dorothea. 

"And you will have to accept another bouquet from him, 
I fear, for he has offered to conduct you on Sunday night to 
the big redoute at the Casino." 

" No — ^no, father, not that," said the girl, suddenly agitated. 
" N'ot to that rowdy Sunday thing — ^I can't go to that place." 

The Colonel threw up his head, a way he had got into with 
his daughter, which was not conducive to her peace. "Why, 
everybody goes," he said. "You can leave before midnight. 
Eeally, Dorothea, it's almost impossible to find out beforehand 
what you want to do, or won't do." 

"Madame de Eoden said we must not go there," answered 
Dorothea, almost rebelliously. " She is going to take us on 
Tuesday to the Veglione at the opera." 

The Colonel reddened furiously, in a way Dorothea had never 
seen before. " Oh, well, of course," he said, " Madame de Roden 
knows," and he flung out of the room. 

A moment later, however, he came back smiling. " Do just 
as you like, dear, in everything," he said. "No two women I 
ever met had the same ideas as to what is improper. By the 
bye, I forgot to say, I happened to hear of a maid for you, and 
I told them to send her to-morrow. I suppose your wooden- 
faced respectability remains firm in her resolve to desert you, 
as soon as the Carnival's over ? " 

" Oh, yes, she's dreadfully homesick, poor thing I " said Doro- 

" All the same, she can wait until after the Carnival." 

Dorothea laughed. " She says she remains in her room all 
day. She hasn't left the hotel, she says, although her cook 
entreats her to join him. 

" You take my word," replied the Colonel, " there is no cook. 
If there were, she'd go with him to the Casino redoute." 

Dorothea laughed louder. "Oh, father, how harshly you 
judge of women ! " she said. " And yet you couldn't do an un- 
kind thing to one of us. You'd take Rebecca to a party, if she 
asked you." 


"No, no; against ugly women I am adamant," replied the 
gallant ColoneL 

Still Dorothea only laughed. She went up and patted her 
father's cheek. " You couldn't refuse a service to the ugliest," 
she said. 

" Well, don't you get homesick," replied her father. " That 
would be too great a trial to my vanity. I'll do anything you 
wish, if you'll only like me, Dolly." 

Next morning Rebecca popi)ed her head through her young 
mistress's door. 

" There's a Jezebel asking to see you ? " she said. 

" Bring her in. Why a Jezebel, Rebecca? " 

The handmaid again popi)ed her head through the door. 
" Because I should like to cast her body to the dogs," she barked, 
and retreated. 

The new-comer, a mild little person in black, gazed after her 
with expressionless eyes. 

"Have you— <;ertificates ? " asked Dorothea, who supposed 
this was the first thing one said. 

"From all the best families in Europe," came the instant 

"Surely you — exaggerate?" suggested Dorothea faintly. 

"Perhaps, then, I should have answered, in France. But 
the result is the same. Are not the best families in France the 
best families in Europe, mademoiselle? No, I do not exag- 
gerate. I have served in these." 

" But — ^presuming your age to be about forty-five — ^have you, 
then, not changed rather often? At my home no servant was 
ever sent away." 

" My age is thirty-nine. Mademoiselle. I admit that I have 
not stayed long in one family. A very superior maid seldom 
does. And the reason of my departure has always been the 
same." * 

Dorothea looked interrogation. The Frenchwoman sunk her 
eyes to thciground. " Yes, the reason has always been jealousy," 
she said. "I have been a maid for more than twenty years. 
In the first ten it was always madame who was jealous ; in 
the last ten it was always monsieur. Can I help it, if employers 
appreciate my services? But, behold, I have enough of 
*menages.' When I heard that mademoiselle is immarried, I 
applied. Mademoiselle is not desirous to marry? " 

"No, indeed." 


"Just 80. And the certificate from my last situation, see, 
it would enable me to obtain any other. I could hire myself, 
if I chose, to a queen ! " 

Dorothea took the proffered paper. 

^^I certify that Mademoiselle Aurelie Bombard has been 
maid to my recent wife during eighteen months, and that dur- 
ing all this period she succeeded, by her skill alone, in making 
her mistress look ten years younger and ten times prettier than 
she actually was. 


"The lady died?" said Dorothea softly, 

" The lady ran away with an officer of twenty-three. She 
was more than forty. Often have I heard the young officer say 
to her: 'Cecile, do not deceive me; them wilt never see thirty 
again I ' And she would truthfully answer : ' Mon ami, I will 
not deceive thee; I never shall. I am fully thirty. I am the 
" f emme de trente ans," first invented by Balzac' ** 

All this was more or less Greek to Dorothea. She sat gazing 
at the certificate and trying to realize, among her not numerous 
acquaintances, a Dutch Vicomte de Montespine. 

" In the case of mademoiselle, I should have no scope for the 
special talents which endeared me to the Yicomtesse. But I 
have others. I can teach many things of which mademoiselle is 
certainly ignorant. Also I can foretell the future from the 
cards. My mistresses have guided their lives by my science and 
their happiness was assured." 

" Did you foretell," asked Dorothea, smiling, " that the 
Vicomtesse would run away?" 

" No science was required for that," replied the French maid 
demurely. " But I foretold that the officer would run after her." 

" I am sorry, but I hardly think ^" 

" And that — ^which is, to the last moment uncertain — ^the 
husband would not." 

" I do not think this situation will suit you," said Dorothea 
with great decision. 

" Excuse me, mademoiselle, but I think it will suit me very 
well; that is what I said to monsieur, your, father, when he 
engaged me. *Ah, je ne veux plus des menages, Monsieur le 
Colonel: c'est trop agitant et c'est trop monotone. Une jeune 
fille, voil^ mon affaire ! ' " 

" My father has engaged you ! " cried Dorothea. 

"But, certainly, he has engaged me and paid me my first 


term. I had three offers already. I am not the first comer; I 
have nothing in common, for instance, with the person who has 
just quitted the room," 

As soon as she could find her father, Dorothea protested 
against his choice of a maid. 

He listened gently. " My dear," he said at last, " what a 
terrible habit you have of disapproving. It makes life so 
laborious. This person is an absolute treasure, a pearl. You 
are charming, child, you know I think you charming, but there 
are a hundred little things — enfini This woman is precisely 
what you need. I consider her a God-send — yes, actually a 
God-send. She will teach you exactly what men like and what 
they don't." 

" But '' 

" There, that is the word which spoils all our conversations. 
It is the ugliest word upon pretty lips. You are suddenly left 
unprovided — ^I procure you a marvel, and what do you answer 

me? 'But ^"^ He shook his finger at her; his eyes were 

full of fond reproach. Thus it came about that Dorothea Sand- 
ring got Mademoiselle Aurelie Bombard for a daily companion 
and adviser. 

" I have written to Miss Mary," announced Rebecca, as she 
harshly brushed her young mistress's hair. 

" Why ? You will see her in three days' time." 

" God willing ! " corrected Rebecca. " Well, I have written 
to say that I left you in the devil's hands." 

"How dare you so frighten her?" exclaimed Dorothea. 
" She will think I have quitted my father." 

" I said you were in the devil's hands," retorted Rebecca with 
grim content, " and that you refused to budge. Fve done my 

Dorothea made no reply, distressfully musing on aunt Mary's 
probable distress. 

" As for that person downstairs," continued Rebecca, pulling 
hard at the hair, " as for that — ^that " 

" I know whom you mean : you've left off abusing the cook. 

^^ She^ll look after you. Do you know how she calls you 
downstairs, Freule ? * The lamb ! ' " 

" There's no harm in that, is there ? I suppose she feels like 
my shepherdess, now." 

Rebecca sniffed, in deepest revolt and scorn. " When a ser- 


vant calls a mistress her lamb, it means that the servant's the 
wolf," she said. " And that the servant knows it." 

" Come with me to the Oerman church," answered Dorothea. 
But Kebecca said she had no tim^ for churches that wasn't 
churches. She must pack; she was leaving on the morrow. 

On that Monday morning of her intended departure she 
appeared at Dorothea's bedside with a countenance all wreathed 
in grins. 

" Freule, I've been thinking. I'm not going home," she said. 

Dorothea opened her sleepy eyes. "Why, the other maid's 
engaged," she said. 

" Oh, / know the other maid's engaged. I wouldn't trouble 
you, Freule. I am glad to think you've got a maid as'U suit 
you, at last I " 

Dorothea lay back, helpless. 

"But Fm engaged too," cried Eebecca, bolt upright and 
crimson. " I'm going to marry that cook 1 " 

" What ? " screamed Dorothea. 

" I'm going to — ^marry — that cook. Of course as soon as he 
means matrimony, in church, it's very different. He's going 
to set up an eating-house, and he won't find a clean Dutchwoman 
to manage it every day. And yesterday afternoon, when he 
heard I was going, he asked me, in the midst of all that foolish 
dirt-flinging — and the foolishness and dirtiness of the people 
in these parts nobody at Brodryck would believe, not if they 
saw them doing it. No wonder he wants a change." 

" I do believe you went to the * Confetti I ' " cried Dorothea. 

" I went to see the depths of abomination ! I thought it was 
the times before the deluge! And my soul cried aloud for an 

"Well, you've found your !N'oah. Can he understand you? 
Was !N'oah before Babel or after? — I forget." 

" There's a German cook-boy in the kitchens translates for 
us. But ril learn him Dutch, in six months — don't you fear." 

Dorothea sat up in bed. " And, oh, Rebecca ! he canH be a 

" Catholics don't coimt with me," replied Rebecca coolly. 
" Catholics is no religion at all, nothing but flummery and dolls. 
He has not too much religion, Freule — ^but no religion's a great 
deal better than a lot of make-believe, like some people's — 
(Dorothea looked suddenly away) ; and Pll turn him into a 
God-fearing Christian in six months' time : you may make your 
mind easy about that." 


" Rebecca, you must be joking I " 

The woman bridled. "And why shouldn't I marry, pray? 
— ^when I'm asked ? There's older than I, of both sexes, anxious 
to make matches, if all that I'm told is true." 

The Colonel, when he heard the news, laughed till he could 
laugh no more. He peremptorily rejected all idea of interfer- 

" My dear," he said, " she hath her age : let her speak. Keep 
her apart from your new maid : thank your stars, and telegraph 
to your aunts." 

But Rebecca's sweetheart had already done this. The old 
ladies received the following despatch : 

" Retour remis. Mademoiselle se marie." 

"Dorothea!" cried aunt Emma. The paper dropped from 
her trembling fingers. 

Aunt Mary stooped and — ^with trembling fingers — picked it 
up. " I — ^I had expected this," said aunt Mary timidly. " In 
the last letters it seemed to me that she — she spoke of the young 
German in a manner — oh, most modestly — still, between the 
lines I fancied one might read that ^" 

" What ? " demanded Emma, as Mary stuck. 

" He — ^he was not indifferent to her." 

"Pooh, what do you know of love?" said Emma, sitting 
down angrily. . " I have noticed nothing of the kind. Love 
wants experience, Mary." 

" True," admitted Mary timidly. 

At this stage each lady remarked that the other was crying, 
so they immediately sent for uncle Tony. The latter replied 
that he was busy, having arranged to take a couple of the orphan 
Lesters rabbit-shooting. Aunt Mary looked at the clock. " He 
will be here in ten minutes," she said. Uncle Tony, having no 
fixed occupations, was always excessively busy. 

As soon as he arrived, with his two dogs at his heels, in his 
usual brown shooting things, the ladies informed him of Doro- 
thea's intended marriage. Uncle Tony placed himself in front 
of the fire, a dog seated on either side; the dog rubbed a mild 
head against uncle Tony's thighs. " Of course," said uncle 

"Pooh!" cried Emma, "you think every woman wants to 
marry ! " 

" Alas, no ! " sighed the old gentleman, with a comical grin. 
Then his jolly face grew solemn. " I hope Dorothea wants to," 
he said. 


Aunt Mary rose and went up to him. " For God's sake, tell 
me what you meim I " she gasped. Her whole face was working 
with emotion. 

" Why, calm yourself, my dear," laughed Emma nervously. 
"Marriage is — a — ^pleasurable experience, I believe. True, I 
never desired it for myself, but Dorothea " 

Uncle Tony took aunt Mary's hand and gently forced her 
to sit down. " When Dorothea went away," he said, " I told you 
I expected her back in a fortnight " — " with your usual acumen," 
interposed aunt Emma. " To my astonishment her father kept 
her, but now I understand it all." He paused for a moment, 
gaping at the poor old creatures, then he burst out: 

''He's found that he can't work his gold mine, and so he 
has sold her I " 

" How coarse you are I " said Emma, fanning herself with a 
religious newspaper. 

" You see, being English, he thought she was of age, but she 
isn't, and he can't touch her money. By marriage she comes of 
age at once, and he's sold her ! " 

Aunt Mary nodded her sad face to the wood fire. "Yes, 
women are bought and sold," she said softly, as if to herself. 

" But if you'd foreseen all this, you might have avoided it," 
remarked Emma tartly. 

" I didn't foresee Dorothea's going off and getting married. 
I thought she had too much character for that," replied Tony 
ruefully. " And I thought the little trip to the Riviera would 
do the child lots of good. 'Tisn't natural she should spend all 
her life with three old fogies like us." 

" True, that is what I thought," murmured Mary. 

" Antony," cried Emma, " I always said you were a ^" She 


" I don't know what you said, but it's true," answered Tony. 

Mary turned. "Listen," she said. "I had presentiments 
enough, but I chose to consider them selfishness. Perhaps that 
was selfishness. It was so easy to keep her and be happy, so 
easy to let her go and be sad. So difficult, so difficult, to know 
what is best for her. And yet that is all that matters, isn't 
it ? " She got up. " I am going to my child I " she said. 

They stared at her in amazement. The very dogs stopped 
rubbing and stared. Only the stupid cats purred on. 

" Yes, I am going," she said. " It would have been absurd 
to go at once, and selfish; we should have been unwelcome. But 
this is too important a crisis. I must go." 


" But, my dear creature- 

She went close to Tony and put her hand on his shoulder. 
" Oh, Tony," she said, " marriage is a very terrible thing." 

" Gracious, how tragical you are I " cried Emma. " YouVe 
never travelled, to speak of. You can't start, in mid-winter, at 
your age I " 

" God will help me," said aunt Mary. " I believe travel in 
foreign countries is not — ^not so arduous as it used to be." 

" If you go, I must take you," said Tony. 

" We must all go together, then," cried Emma. " There is 
only one thing I regret." 

"What is it?" asked Tony. 

" That the Carnival will be over," replied Emma lightly. " I 
should like to have seen a battle of flowers." 

But a moment later she sighed. As she had recently pointed 
out to imcle Tony, Mary, in these latter days, needed a great 
deal of cheering up. 


On the evening of Shrove Tuesday Dorothea dined quietly 
with her father before going to the great final Veglione at the 
opera. The wonderful spectacle of the afternoon still hung 
cinematographed in her eyes. She had seen — ^unforgettable 
sight ! — ^the second day of the " Confetti " in its glory. From 
a window under the long Sea Terrace, like a theatre-box, her 
eager glances had swept, behind their mask, the vast square of 
the Prefecture, framed in tall stands of gay crimson and ban- 
ners, stands that groaned under thousands of costumed specta- 
tors, while down below, far as farthest eyesight could penetrate, 
whirled, whistled, shouted and sang, with endless capering, and 
screechings, tens of thousands more mountebanks, as brilliantly 
costumed, in all colors of the rainbow and fancies of fairyland, 
a mad, merry medley of noise and of music, round the long, 
slow procession of the cars. Up they came, with perpetual 
twistings through the dense mass of frantic himian movement, 
the cavalcades, analcades, chariots, troops and groups of young 
maskers, in every extravagance and beautiful combination of 
gaudiness, under the steady downpour of the confetti. High 
up, from an azure dome, the golden sunshine streamed over all 
the white buildings, over the whirlpools of dancers that eddied, 
a carpet of colors, an imresting kaleidoscope, on all hands, out 
of reach. Down came the clouds of confetti from the blaze of 
blue, yellow and crimson on the stands; up went, without in- 
terruption, the clouds of confetti from the multitudes scream- 
ing below. Meanwhile the procession struggled forward, turn- 
ing as well as it could, before the tribunes, anxious to show off 
and gain prizes: gorgeous riders in the exquisite costumes 
which civilization has banished to carnivals, caricatures, trav- 
esties, living puns, walking satires, plays upon events of the 
day and on politics, jokes and take-offs innumerable, amusing 
or otherwise, and, between all this, the great cars, moving plat- 
forms on wheels, built up with amazing expenditure of taste, 
money and care. Here passes, amid loud outcries from a band 



of comic monkeys, a huge machine, high as the houses, which 
alternately cranes aloft the pink sucking-pigs and the babies 
that dance around its base, holds them up in mid-air for a 
moment, engulfs them, and produces strings of sausages down 
below; there approaches, enormous, all sails set, yet nine white 
oxen draw it, the Galleon of Flora, white silk and golden, 
resplendent with garlands, while the fifty attendants of the god- 
dess, robed as different virgin flowers, shed each her particular 
blooms, to the music of symbols and clarions, on the restless 
crowd beneath. Yonder draws near — ^behind that gang of howl- 
ing dervishes — ^the Stithy of Vulcan, a lurid glory of crimson 
— ^you can see its red glow already, with the red devils dancing 
— already you can hear the click-click of its hammer, but the 
skipping, yellow mass before it stops its progress, while two 
other cars are turning in the sunlight and the rain of chalk and 
plaster — on they come, the dancers and the prancers, horse and 
foot and chariots intermingled, curvetting and singing in the 
constant blare of music, a phantasmagoria of brightness, wild- 
ness and jollity, a Christmas dream of wonderland gone mad. 

Dorothea lay back after dinner, exhausted, her eyes closed, 
re-seeing it all. The Colonel hemmed and hawed over his 
coffee, and got up and sat down, not himself. 

Dorothea opened her eyes on him with great solicitude. " I 
hope you haven't caught cold again at that window," she said. 
" You are so susceptible, dear father, to colds." 

" It's that abominable chalk they throw about," replied the 
Colonel. " Dolly, I should like to speak to you for a moment. 
H'ml There's plenty of time before you dress." 

Dorothea sat up at once with that dreadful practical air he 
disliked so in a woman. She even moved off her very lazy 
lounge to a chair by the lamp, which was absurd. 

" You needn't look so expectant," he said, rolling a reflective 
cigarette. "It's an awful nuisance to have to speak about 
money; I never do. But I am compelled to inform you that 
this uncle Tony, as you call him, has behaved in a most un- 
conscionable manner." 

" Oh, father, he's a dear man," cried Dorothea. 

" So I find him," replied the Colonel drily. " Well, he 
refuses to allow more than five hundred pounds for your keep." 

" But to him that seems a large sum ; he has no idea of 
expenses like ours. Is five hundred pounds too little ? It must 
be because we buy such expensive clothes. I suppose there is 
no more." 


"Is no more?" exclaimed Sandring, dropping the cigarette. 
*'Do you mean to say that you have absolutely no conception 
of your possessions? You will have four thousand a year on 
the day you come of age or marry; five thousand when I die." 

" Don't, father! That seems a great deal of money. I don't 
think the aunts can know," said Dorothea gravely. 

" Oh, yes, they do. I wonder what reason all these people 
have had for keeping you in the dark" — a shade of suspicion 
passed over the Colonel's frank countenance. " Well, of course, 
the subject is at all times a disgusting one; you see how long 
I have avoided it. Still, it is simply ridiculous, Dorothea, that 
yonder person should go on piling up all this money while you 
and I are distracted with efforts to make both ends meet." 

"Are we? I am sorry," said Dorothea, vexed and puzzled. 

"My dear, I have spared you as long as I could." The 
Colonel rose and slowly struck a match. "Do you know, I 
believe, as your father, I could take all your money away from 
uncle Tony?" 

" Oh, don't ; it would hurt him dreadfully ! " 

" Well, I won't. Besides, there would be a lot of unpleasant- 
ness, and these very pious people would say things I would 
rather not hear said. I don't pretend that I have ever been 
able to look after property. Well, child, only one things remains 
for us; we must spend the money just the same, while he's 
hoarding it over there." 

"I don't understand," said Dorothea. 

The Colonel sighed. " It is very simple. We can easily 
get a man to lend us whatever we want if we promise to repay 
him afterwards." 

" Oh, then, do, father," replied Dorothea brightly. But her 
voice changed as she added, " Can that really be done satisfac- 

Sandring had taken a paper from his despatch-box. " Of 
course it can," he said. "You have only to sign this; that 
is all." 

Dorothea took the bond and looked at it. " Sign ? " was all 
she said. 

"Yes, I suppose you have signed documents before?" re- 
marked her father testily. He was annoyed at her trying to 
master the meaning of the deed, a thing he would certainly not 
have done at her age. 

"Yes; soup-tickets," answered Dorothea. The Colonel bit 
his lips under the seeming insult of the innocent reply. 


" We cannot live on two thousands," he said, with an Tinder- 
note of irritation. " This is merely a loan of another thousand 
to be repaid when you come of age." 

" And if I were to die before then ? " 

"Well, I suppose I should be your natural heir. But you 
are not going to die." The Colonel watched the firm letters 
forming on the paper. He laughed. " It is a sort of inverted 
post-obit," he said, " drawn by a father on his child. We might 
as well have made it two thousand. Well, I hardly know. 

These scoundrelly money-lenders charge such a . In a week 

or two, I trust, we shall neither of us need money. We shall 
have heaps of it and to spare I " He rubbed his hands softly ; 
his eyes shone. 

" How will that come about ? " said Dorothea. 

" I have my idea. Dear child, do not look so solemn ; you 
are going to a Carnival ball. There is another subject of far 
greater importance than this paltry bit of inevitable business, 
about which I must say half a word." 

" Well, father I " She knew him so well by this time, she 
thought he was going to give some advice about her dress. 

" You must have remarked for some time Count Pini's evi- 
dent attentions. Do not be surprised if he take advantage of 
his mask to put you this evening a very important question — 
the sweetest a woman can ever hear." 

" Father ! " Dorothea started, kindling, to her feet. 

"Do not be so frightened, child. He has confessed to me, 
what every one can see, that he is deeply in love with you. He 
is of high birth; he has recently come into a very great for- 
tune. You have made no secret of your enthusiasm for his 
splendid career. Oh, my dear, you have behaved with perfect 
propriety! But of course he has perceived that you admired 

" Father ! " said Dorothea again. 

"He is not young, but neither is he old. He is just the 
right age for a husband to so inexperienced a girl. I think you 
are acting very wisely, Dolly. You have my heartiest congratu- 
lations." He held out both hands. 

"But, father, I can't marry him; I don't love him," said 
Dorothea piteously. 

" Of course you do not. I should be very sorry if a daughter 
of mine * loved ' any man before he proposed to her. My dear 
girl, I leave you absolutely free ; that goes without saying. But 
I think you are making an admirable use of your liberty. I am 


delighted with this match. I should feel broken-hearted if any- 
thing came between." 

He made good his escape. He felt that he had managed the 
business exceedingly well. Blanche was so clever. And he 
honestly felt also that he was doing his very best for Dorothea, 
who would marry a man shiB admired and make a mag^nificent 
match. Pini had stuck immovably to his conditions; the for- 
tune of the " divine " Dorothea, to whom the Italian had devoted 
his susceptible heart, would, as basis of the wonderful system, 
render both father and husband millionaires. 

Dorothea was still standing in the middle of the room when, 
ten minutes later, the two ladies Eoden and Konrad suddenly 
filled it with the ring of their laughter and the rustle of their 

"Is your father ready? My dear Dorothea, we must help 
you to dress! Egon could not be persuaded to come." 

"Ah I" said Dorothea. 

" He is staying with father. Egon, you know, is the member 
of the family whom the others always select for self-sacrifice. I 
offer for conscience sake, but I quite expect Egon to do what 
I don't want to. Some people are made that way, don't you 
think?" These last words came from Gertrude, the daughter. 

" Gertrude is always so precise in her facts," said Madame 
von Koden, smiling. " That comes from her taste for exact 
science, you know. You cannot imagine what trouble we had 
.to get her to come away." 

They rather dreaded informing the Colonel that they lacked 
a cavalier. But he took the matter very coolly. Perhaps they 
would find one in the ball-room, he said. 

And, indeed, scarcely had they entered the brilliant opera- 
building, when a masked figure stepped forth from the flood of 
gay costumes and bowed low under the blaze of chandeliers. 
By the bow alone Dorothea would have recognized Pini. He 
was beautifully attired in the dress of an Italian grandee before 
the Great Revolution, with abundance of wine-colored velvet, 
white satin, gilt, powder and lace. Dorothea observed the long- 
drawn distinction of his bearing, as he rested one hand on his 
sword-hilt and the other on the star at- his breast. 

" Beautiful masque," he began in his sonorous French, " will 
you do the honor of taking a few steps by my side ? " — and he 
led her through the crush of the mAskers, amid the buffoonery, 
the pirouettes and the cat-calls, that almost drowned the music 
of the waltz. " How stupid it all is I " he said suddenly, as a 


masculine ballet-girl touched with his fan the maskless portion 
of Dorothea's cheek. "Let us go up to my box; you will see 
better there." 

He led her into the box: he got her an ice which she did 
not want. She was very troubled. Stretching over the front 
she gazed down on the seething masses of color and noise 
beneath. Somehow, in this clouded, perfumed, close-smelling 
enclosure at this late hour of the night, the Carnival, which 
had seemed rather harmlessly mad in the sunshine, looked evil, 
a thing to avoid* 

"I think we ought to be going home," she said, rising. 
" Madame de Eoden did not intend to stop long." 

He laid three delicate fingers on the pink folds of her domino. 
"Do not go yet," he entreated, "I have something to say — ^I 
shall say it very simply. I shall pay you no compliments. 
Bellissima, carissiina, will you make me the happiest of mor- 
tals ? " He took off his mask as he spoke, and, bending one knee 
to the ground, leainf forward from his armchair, middle-aged, 
a little faded, but supremely elegant, in the beautiful, courtly 

She would hate spoken, trembling with agitation, but he 
stopped her. 

" I know that I have nothing to offer," he said. " You have 
everything. Well, I am willing to accept. The more honor you 
do me, the prouder I shall be." 

The music was very noisy; the dances were whirling wildly. 
Great clouds of t)erfimied heat rose, spreading, from below. 

"I cannot marry you, Sig^nore," said Dorothea softly. 

Signor Pini bent to catch the repeated words. 

" I cannot marry you," said Dorothea firmly. 

He cast a sharp glance at her, and the expression of hia 
features changed, as did also the tone of his voice. 

"You do not mean what you are saying," he answered. 
Then, as she only plucked at her frills — 

"I am not young," he said with strident conviction, "but 
neither am I finished, and I have seen more and done more 
than younger men. I am a Count of the Holy Roman Empire, 
or can be, whenever I choose. I am on the point of acquiring a 
very large fortune — ^well ? " He spoke like a man of business ; 
with his prosperity all the romance seemed to have dropped out 
of his voice. " After all, I am not such a contemptible parti ? " 

" I never thought that, but I — ^I do not love you." 

She spoke so low, in all the noise, behind her fan, but he 


heard her. He rose to his feet, and his sword clanged between 
them. "That is English," he said in icy tones; "I did not 
know you were so English. You expect, then, to love various 
men, mademoiselle, on the chance that one of these may pro- 
pose to you? It is not the way of the ladies of my nation, 
among people of my rank." 

She stared at him, in astonishment that financial success 
should so have altered the man. 

" Your feeling towards me suffices me," he continued mildly. 
" You have shown me more — appreciation than I had any right 
to expect. You mistake your own pure heart — ^ah, purissimal 
— ^your father understands it better than yourself." 

" I am afraid my father does not understand me at all," she 
answered forlornly. 

Count Pini drew a paper out of his white satin waistcoat 
and held it out to her. She took it and read : 

" My dear friend. — ^You have my full consent, and, if I know 
women at all, you also have my daughter's. Do you not think 
the poor innocent child has sufficiently betrayed herself to ren- 
der your hesitation superfluous? But they do honor to your 
delicacy of feeling, and on no account would I expose you to 
mortification, if I thought there was any fear of a rebuff. 

"Lewis Sandrinq." 

The letter dropped to Dorothea's feet. She stooped, picked 
it up, and gave it back to him. 

" Thus also," he said quickly, " will you stoop, pick me up 
and return me to myself." 

Then she took off her mask and looked straight into his 
eyes. " My father," she said f alteringly, " is mistaken. I am 
very sorry." She gazed away across the loud horde of dancers : 
suddenly it was to her as if she saw rise up, in the mist of ball- 
room atmosphere, little quiet old aunt Mary, with her close- 
fitting black gown, by the light of the single lantern in the 
dark and desolate death-room. 

" Not even to please my father," she said, " would I marry 
a man I do not care for." 

" My rank and present fortune ^" he began. 

" And whose fortune is gained by crime." 

He drew back without another word, but she turned, as he 
was leaving the box. " I am young ! " she cried passionately. 
"I am stupid! I am very ignorant! My father says I have 
given you— encouragement " — ^her whole neck flamed at the word 


— ^* if it is BO, and I suppose it must be — ^I don't quite under- 
stand — ^but, oh, I abjectly beg your pardon I '' 

He only bowed again and left her. She drew the folds of 
her domino about her throat, and sat back, in the shadow, both 
hands before her face, deeply humiliated, distraught. Of her- 
self she was not ashamed, for she could realize no actual wrong- 
doing, but she was sick of her surroundings, soiled to the heart. 
Only, she climg to her father's affection through all her dis- 
illusionment : he meant everything for the best; he was kind- 
hearted : her happiness was his one desire. 

Signer Pini, threading his way through the multitude, 
sought out a splendid white figure, chiefly in sparkle and 
feathers, a peacock, and took her from Lord Archibald Foye, 
who had come as a clown. 

"I have business of importance with Madame," said Pini. 
He led her away to a little palm-filled comer beyond the refresh- 
ment-room. ^' She has refused me," he said. 

"Impossible 1 " exclaimed Blanche. " You cannot have man- 
aged things well." 

"I did my best. I have not, perhaps, your exx)erience of 
love affairs." 

" I mean — ^you cannot have made full use of her father 1 " 

" It is not pleasant, in such matters, to make full use of the 
father. But I believe I have done so. Ah, Santa Madre ! " he 
ground his teeth, with the resolute suppression of his fury. " It 
is enough. She has refused me. She said she could not live 
on money gained by gambling. That was what she meant. She 
loves me — I do not doubt it — she refused me because I am a 
gambler. She said money thus gained was gained by crime ! " 
His glance rested on the lace of his coat sleeve, and he smiled. 

" By God ! she is right ! " cried the Baroness, fierce as a 
panther. " She is right, and that is why I detest her and crush 
her — the pretty-hearted, pure-hearted child I What business has 
this little Miss Mealyface to come between me and my happi- 
ness? Sandring is a fooll You, too, are a fool, Pini! I am 
a woman. Here, let me go to herl Leave me alone with her! 
I will strike her out of my path as I dash aside this glass ! " 
She brushed away a liqueur glass from a table, in shrill clatter 
on the pavement, and swept up the great staircase with a far- 
spreading glitter of her white peacock-train. 

" C'est un franc, monsieur," said the waiter to Pini. 

Madame de Fleuryse pushed open the door of the box and, 
assuming the squeaky masquerade voice. " Bonsoir, mademoi- 


Belle," she said. "May a friend have a few moments' conver- 
sation?" Dorothea looked up at the splendid peacock figure, 
all silver eyes : an idea took her that this must be Lady Archi- 

" A beautiful sight," squeaked the visitor, waving her hand. 
" Fascinating I Strange I A little wild, perhaps? Not at all 
like Brodryck." 

"Who are you?" asked Dorothea. 

"A friend. One who is sorry to see you in imcongenial 

" Yes, I will go home," said Dorothea rising. 

" Ah, I forgot. I have a message for you from the Colonel. 
He has gone with the other ladies to Vitellini's, to show them 
the supper-rooms. He hoped that your cavalier would see you 

" You are not Lady Archibald," said Dorothea, and sat down 
again in despair. 

" One like you will find no happiness here. The Colonel 
even — best of men I — ^is not the companion you should have. You 
do not appreciate his virtues." 

** True," said Dorothea, and her eyes looked away, across the 
theatre. After a silence, she added, speaking more to herself 
than to the intruder. " I shall find no happiness here. I had 
better go home." Before this woman she meant the hotel, but 
the woman understood that her thoughts had strayed further — 
to Brodryck. 

This, however, by no means agreed with the Baroness's plans, 
for Sandring had told her too clearly that his daughter's mar- 
riage must precede his own. 

" My dear," she squeaked, " you are very silly. You do not 
understand your own welfare. As for your scruples, they are 
not even honest. For you know perfectly well, that your father 
gambles all day long, that you live on the proceeds of his gam- 
bling, and supply him with funds to continue, when he's down 
on his luck." 

Dorothea caught her breath. The whole whirlpool of dancers 
seemed to sail high up into the air and swing down sideways. 
She had the strength to put up her little mask again, covering 
half her face. 

" Yes, I know," she said. 

The woman beside her laughed. 

You are keeping him out of his happiness. Worse than 
that, you are causing him to continue in — ^what do you call it? 


— sin! Yes, sin. A pretty preacher I For it is you who, by 
refusing to marry, render impossible his marriage." 

Dorothea gripped the other's substantial arm. "I do not 
understand,'* she said : " speak plainly." 

"My dear, you are too simple for anything. Marry Pini. 
When you are married, and out of the way, the Colonel wiU 
bestow his name on a lady he has counted among his intimate 
friends for some time." 

She had bent forward, hissing the words. Dorothea started 
to her feet, with a flash that flung the woman from her. 

" Madame de Barvielle ! " she cried. 

The next moment she was out in the street. She understood 
everything, everything, all her father's life. 


She ran along the road, in her domino. Everywhere was 
the sound of much laughter and dancing. Eversrwhere was 
abundance of light. The whole city roared to the skies in its 
revelry. The broad river twinkled along all its bridges, under 
myriads of colored lanterns and gas-jets ; the Casino flared, one 
vast illumination across the immense Place Masslna, on which 
thousands of yelling enthusiasts, half-mad with debauchery, 
were performing every possible orgy, in great circles of drunken 
delight. Dorothea shrank back in dumb terror, her hand on 
the parapet by the riverside. 

She stood there a long time, not knowing where she stood. 
The night was beautifully mild, but she would not have noticed 
any change in its temperature. Even here there was no fresh 
air, by the river. The smoke of the great colored fires went up 
from elevated platters. She closed her eyes to the lurid license 
of the scene. 

She could not go back to the hotel — that was all she felt- 
not go back and meet her father. It was not yet a couple of 
months since she first had seen him: she must never see him 
again. She thought of the journey down from Paris, of her 
visit to Monte Carlo, of that night when she had found him 

the worse for ^no I only a couple of hours ago she had signed 

away a thousand pounds to be spent in gambling. What mat- 
tered the paltry thousand pounds? — ^but the gambling! to live 
on the produce of the tables — and the other, the unspeakable 
thing — the— the 

No, she could never touch his lips again. 

She hailed a passing vetturino, in a sudden impulse of 
escape. The man looked at her, laughing. She fancied he 
was drunk. There was no other in sight. Perhaps he would 
upset and kill her ? Would it matter much, if he did ? 

" Whither, beau masque ? " said the cabman. 

"To the Villa Buonarotti. Drive fast." She would ask 
Madame de Koden, who must be back long ago by this. She 
must tell Madame de Koden, confiding in another woman's 
righteous heart. 



sank her head upon her breast, in the victoria, as it 
fought its way across the blatant inferno of the square. " Oh 
Jesu, have mercy on these people! Oh Jesu, have mercy on 
me ! " she prayed, over and over again. It seemed to her as 
if the placid heavens must rend asunder, and, mid the radiance 
of His million angels, the Son of God descend to judgment and 
to war. 

In the short avenue of the Villa, under the cypresses, a man's 
figure came forward and stopped the driver. 

"Is that you, Konrad? Where are the others?" asked 
Egon's voice. 

Dorothea mastered herself by an effort such as seemed very 
strange to what her simple life had been until now. 

" It is I," she said, " Dorothea Sandring. My party deserted 
me. I came here to find them." 

" They have not come home yet. I was expecting them. My 
father has gone to bed." 

There followed an awkward pause. " May I see you back to 
the hotel?" began Egon. 

" Oh, no — ^no ! I will wait till they come home." 

" Will you come into the house ? " He threw away his cigar. 

" Oh, no — ^no ! I will stop here. They will come soon." 
She could not ask him to leave her sitting thus by herself in 
the cab, as she longed to do. Her one desire was not to betray 
her father to him, by word or manner. The cabman grunted. 
His drunken presence, leering at them, became more than she 
could endure. 

" I have no money," she said, realizing the fact for the first 
time. " Would you pay this man and let him go ? " 

He obeyed, wondering, and assisted her to alight. He felt 
the tremor that rang along her frame, as she stood quivering 
by his side. 

" Let us go in," he said ; " you are cold." 

" Oh, no — no ! " she answered. " How could any one be 
cold ? The night is beautiful." She walked quickly out of the 
shadow of the trees and down the shining terrace, that opened 
out before the house. Her heart was burning. 

He came and stood beside her, against the balustrade. The 
air was heavy with Riviera fragrance. From below, across a 
mile of sleeping garden-slopes, ascended, dulled by distance, the 
clamor of the Satum^lian city, a crimson blotch amongst ten 
thousand fire-sparks, against the deep-blue sky. And beyond, 
unseen, spread endless, the solemn sighing of the sea. 


" Surely it is like the world before the deluge," said Doro- 
thea. His answer came unexpected: 

" You are disturbed. You have been insulted by somebody. 
By Heaven, I believe you have been insulted by Pini ? " 

He saw only the back of the pink domino. "Is it so evi- 
dent," she said bitterly, " that Pini would be the person to insult 
me ? Undoubtedly then, I am to blame for this easy coupling 
of our names." 

" You ? — ^he is right, when he calls you an angel. That truth, 
from his lips, may atone for a quantity of lies ! He has insulted, 
you, the scoundrel I He will find that you have friends who can 
call him to account." 

" No, no I " she turned, her white hand on the parapet. " You 
are mistaken, Herr von Boden. Signor Pini has not exactly 
insulted me ! You will keep silence ! You would not make me 
unhappier than I am ? " i 

"I would give my life to spare you a moment's imhappi- 
ness I " he burst out. " There, I have said it. It is idiotic, 
unless I say more. I had no business to say anything at all — 
but, but — ^Dorothea, will you give me the right to defend you 
against your surroundings? To save you from them? I am 
longing to do it, at once. Will you be my wife ? " 

"Against your surroundings." She asked for no explana- 
tions; she stood, unable to speak. A moment later she found 
herself seated on a bench beside the teeming orange-trees. She 
did not know whether he had led her there, or whether she had 
walked alone. 

"It is not fair, perhaps, to take you by surprise at this 
moment," he continued, speaking fast and earnestly ;" but I 
cannot restrain myself, when I see — ^what I see." He gasped 
for breath. " I do not ask you to give me an immediate answer. 
Only let me entreat of you, do nothing you — ^you don't want to 
do. You are so good, so good, so much better than any of 
us — ^be sure what you don't want to do is better left undone. 
And please remember that, at any moment, I am eager to lay 
my whole existence, such as it is, at your feet." 

He waited for a moment, and as yet she did not answer — 

" I am a poor lame beggar," he said ; " it's beastly cheeky of 
me, asking you to marry me. But I love you so I can't help 
it. You're so good, you never ought to marry any ordinary 
man, but — ^but sometimes I think : If she takes some other idiot, 
she might just as well take me. You're like my mother, but 
the only man that'd make you a decent husband is the one that 


married her. Look here, I always thought, when the time came, 
I should say a lot of things I want to say. All I can think of 
now is that I want you to marry me, be— because I want you 

Suddenly she drooped her head upon her breast, and that 
was all. 

" Dorothea I " he cried : the tumult of passion surging across 
his voice was such that she sank against his extended arm, as 
a lily might bend under the storm. 

When he spoke again a few minutes later, it was to say: 
"I remember now one of the things I ought to tell you, and 
forgot. But you know already, Dorothea,— do you not? — that 
either of my brothers may succeed my uncle as well as I ! " 

" What has that to do with — ^with anything ? " replied Doro'- 

Then he kissed her, the second time. "Nothing, dearest, 
except that I am poor." 

"What does that matter?" answered Dorothea, wearily, 
amidst her happiness. " Since I came here, money seems to 
me to be all wickedness. At Brodryck it looked pleasant to be 

The turmoil of the city mounted, changeless and monoto- 
nous, but they no longer heard it. All the liquid sweetness of 
the orange-blossom played about them : all the little chirps and 
rustlings of the gentle night arose and lulled them : all the velvet 
softness of the wakeful foliage sank around them — and the 
silver stars shone steadfast with the mysteries of God. 

" My mother has come home," said Egon, " let us go to her." 

Then Dorothea seemed to remember what she knew she had 
not for one moment forgotten, the great sorrow that had driven 
her here. 

" We will go to her together," she answered, " and then, 
Egon, you must leave us alone." 

They found Madame von Koden standing in the drawing- 
room. Gertrude, exhausted, had gone at once to her room. 

" Well, Egon, it is a sight to be seen once," said the Gener- 

alin, " but ^" She turned. " This also," she cried, laughing 

a little hysterically, "is a sight to be seen, and without a 
* but ' 1 " She came forward and drew both her children to- 
wards her, kissing them both. 

" You knew nothing," said the son. 

"Nothing," she answered, "You praise my cleverness so 


often, Egon, but it is only in the abstract. As every occasion 
offers, you expect me to prove a fool." 

"Mother! But I thought '' 

" Quite so. Only a mother thinks more. My dear Doro- 
thea, it is half -past one : your father will be anxious about you. 
Now, how shall we get you home ? " 

To the horror of mother and son, Dorothea's reply was a 
burst of weeping. Until that moment, she had not, through 
all the troublous evening, felt a moment's call for tears. Now 
she clung, sobbing, to Madame de Koden's side. 

" Leave us together," said the Generalin, her own eyes moist- 
ening. And scarcely had the door closed on Egon, when Doro- 
thea whispered : 

" I cannot go home." 

The Generalin only drew her closer and waited. For 
Madame de Roden was afraid to show, by speech, that she un- 
derstood, and knew, even more than Dorothea. 

*' I cannot go back to the hotel. You must keep me here," 
murmured the latter. " Do not, please, ask me any questions I 
I cannot go back." 

" Are you sure of that ? " asked Madame de Roden. 

Dorothea loosened her hold and sank back upon a sofa. 
" Quite sure," she gasped. 

" My dear, I will ask no questions. And, having asked none, 
I venture to think — ^you see, I am an old woman — to think that 
you can go back." 

" I cannot — ^you do not know I " 

"I do not know. But of one thing I am certain, that, if 
you stay away like this, you will bring disgrace upon your 
father's name. And a daughter can do anything but that." 

Dorothea shivered on the sofa. 

" You are young : you have lived — God be praised — an ex- 
ceptionally sheltered life. You know nothing of the world and 
its evils. You know nothing of men's temptations. I believe, 
before God, that the husband you have chosen to-night is honest 
and pure, as his own father, but — ^I could not say the same, not 
even of all my own nearest and dearest." She stopped, falter- 
ing. Dorothea looked up into her face. The Generalin seated 
herself beside the girl on the sofa and took her hand. 

" If I say this to you — so much 1 — it is because — oh, Doro- 
thea, you can go back. Men's ideas of right and wrong are not 
like women's, dearest. Kiss me, child. The daughter of so 
brave a soldier is not less brave than he I " 


They sat in silence. " To-morrow I will ask Colonel Sand- 
ring to let you come and stay a while with us," said the Gtener- 
alin. "Konrad will be returning presently. He had — ^had 
some reason for staying in the town. Egon will see you home 
in Konrad's cab." 

" I will go back," said Dorothea. 

Meanwhile Egon, pacing the passage with that peculiar halt 
of his, roused the General, who slept on the long groimd-floor. 

"What, father, not asleep?" said the son in the doorway, 
" why, it's past one o'clock." 

" 'Tis, then, it seems, the very witching hour of night, when 
ghosts do walk," replied the General, laughing gently. " I heard 
the carriage, Egon ; why doesn't everybody go to bed ? " 

" Miss Sandring is here," answered Egon, uneasily, " she will 
be leaving in a few minutes." And he retreated into the hall. 

Justus lifted himself on his pillows. " Miss Sandring in the 
drawing-room, and you in the passage I " said the father. 
"What nonsense is this, Egon? — come in at once and tell me 
what you've been and gone and done." 

The son closed the door behind him and, standing in the 
dark, "Father," he said, "you must go to sleep: we can talk 
about things to-morrow." 

But the provoking invalid struck a match and held it aloft, 
for a moment, until it burnt his fingers. 

"Kever mind," he said, dropping back into darkness. 
" Come here, Egon, let me grasp your hand. God bless you, my 
boy. And her. Poor thing I Poor thing I " 

Egon broke the silence. " Yes," he said, " I must save her. 
The sooner the better. Father, we must get her away from — 
all that." 

Justus held tighter the hand within his. "You must love 
her," he said, " that is all. Love her : be happy in her happi- 
ness, happy in making her happy, happy in being made happy 
by her. All successful wedlock is that, boy. The quest of our 
happiness in each other's. God grant it to you: and yet you 
must seek it. I hear the drawing-room door. Go to her. Send 
me your mother. Good-night." 

Egon stood still by the door. " I don't know what we shall 
live on," he said. 

His father laughed. "Just what I said twenty-five years 
ago. But one does live, somehow. Of course, it is very repre- 
hensible to start like that. What will your uncle say? " 

" ' Egon, you're a fool.' " 


^ A wise fool," added Justus, and lay meditating on his own 
half -century of sunny life. 

'^ At any rate, she won't live on gambling gains,*' said Egon 
to himself. 

An hour later Dorothea stood in her bedroom at the hotel, 
gazing down on a telegram she had just torn open. 

"We are coming. Telegraph his name to Hotel Victoria, 

" Uncle Tony and Aunts." 

" Whose name ? " exclaimed Dorothea. 

Eebecca, kept awake by curiosity alone, peered over her mis- 
tress's shoulder. 

"Dutch people should telegraph in the language they was 
bom to," remarked Eebecca. " There's Jezebel outside says she 
wants to come in." Indeed, a tap at the door was iromediately 
followed by audible twists of the door-handle. Rebecca stood 
coughing her loudest, with " Jezebel I Jezebel I Jezebel ! " be- 
tween every gurgle and choke. 

"Unlock the door at once. How dare you turn the key?" 
said Dorothea. 

" Not 1 1 " replied the handmaid undaunted. " I won't let 
in the wolf upon the lambkin. I'm not a hireling, thank God I " 

Dorothea swept to her feet, the pink domino still hanging 
about her. " (Jpen the door this very moment," she said, her 
quiet eyes blazing. " Do you expect me to do it for you ? Or 
to fight with you about getting it done ? " 

The terrible Bebecca, with skance glances, went and sullenly 
unfastened the door. Mademoiselle Aur^lie Bompard entered 
smiling, seemingly unconscious, and began immediately to move 
familiar articles about on the toilet-table. Eebecca, retreating, 
watched her with a groan that went straight to Dorothea's 
heart. " Sleep well. Pleasant dreams," called Dorothea. 

" Ah, Freule," replied Eebecca, disappearing, " it is not the 
dreams I desire for you, but an awakening I " 

" Mademoiselle has a headache," said the Frenchwoman, 
casting .one of her sharp, modest little glances at her new mis- 

" It is true," answered Dorothea, surprised, for Eebecca be- 
lieved in no ailments but her own. 

" I can see that. No, your eau de cologne is quite useless : 
I have a spirit here — ^a few drops on a handkerchief, seel^-I 


thought Mademoiselle would have a headache after the Ye- 
glione." She busied herself with deft hands and noiseless move- 
ments about her mistress's toilet. " Only the strictly neces- 
sary I " she said. " Mademoiselle is exhausted. "Jhe drops have 
done good, have they not ? Ah, I told Mademoiselle I could do 
many things. I wish Mademoiselle a good rest, and pleasantest 
dreams of the ball. De tous ces charmants messieurs et du bal." 

Outside, the noise of the Carnival night continued. The 
shrieks and laughter and music came, muffled, to her ears. Ash- 
Wednesday was drawing near. Unable to go to sleep, she got 
up and drew aside the curtains. In the distance the lights 
flared, constant: the turmoil of sounds rang clearer against 
her window-glass. She knelt down and murmured reiterated 
prayers, in which Egon's name now strangely and sweetly 
mingled, burning prayers for her father, sad prayers for a world 
that lieth in wickedness — suddenly her breath caught : she could 
not now, as in that night of the railway journey, pronounce 
in the presence of Almighty God the name of Madame de Bar- 
vielle. "Perhaps God will forgive her," she thought, as she 
lay down again, sleepless. The extremes of grief and joy she 
had endured combined in her exhausted brain to a tumult of 
torment. All the sights and sounds of the day seemed to whirl 
behind her eyes. She lay shivering. She had never been 
seriously ill, and she wondered if this was fever. Before that 
question had been answered in her brain, she fell into a troubled 

From this she was suddenly awakened. The rushing of a 
mighty wind filled her ears with a roar such as she had never 
heard before and will never hear again. She started slightly 
from her pillow, to fall back immediately, rolling hither and 
thither, as a drop of mercury in a saucer, sick, dead sick, at 
heart and brain. The whole room rose around her, uplifted, 
heaving sideways, tossed backwards, at all angles, like a vessel 
in a swifter than earthly storm. With her wide-open giddy 
eyes she saw one thing happen: in the universal awryness, a 
creature in a pink domino came dancing, zig-zag, across the 
floor. She thought she screamed at that, but it was only a 
gurgle in her throat. The next moment she beheld the crazy 
dancer's countenance and recognized her own wicker dress- 
frame careering in the still, cold light. Then followed imme- 
diately a great crash of glass and china, as all the things from 
washstand and toilet-table rushed heavily to the ground, and 
the sound echoed on, in new volleys of crashing and creaking 


through all the vast building, with the dull, intense rumble pass- 
ing slowly away. 

Dorothea sat up, clutching at the bed-side : she believed that 
the comers had righted themselves, but the whole room seemed 
to be turning still* 

" It is an earthquake," she whispered to herself, shuddering 
from head to foot, " it is God's judgment." And her soul grew 
suddenly calm. 

She got up, steadying herself by the bed-posts, confusedly 
tottering across the room. Dragging her heavy feet to the win- 
dow, she fell against its frame, and tore aside the curtain. One 
instant of deathly silence had hung on the train of the thunder 
— ^now shrieks and cries of every description went up on every 
hand in the pandemonium of a whole city's consternation, the 
yelling of a hundred thousand voices mad with fear. 

Dorothea, at the window, stared, shuddered back, and stared 
again. In every direction, far as the eye could reach, poured 
streams of human creatures, many in night-clothes, many in 
carnival dresses, leaping, running, falling, screaming all. 
Bells were swinging, inaudible, on the other side of the 
river. Just in front of the hotel, on the square, lay a little 
group of maskers, prostrate or upon their knees. Hideous rents 
were visible in the walls of all the houses around, and the broad 
public garden was littered with pieces of chimneys, plaster orna- 
ments and tiles. Dorothea lay staring in the clear, cold, day- 
break. She saw the church doors opposite burst open and a 
flood of morning penitents — the cross of ashes doubtless still 
upon their foreheads^pour out into a dancing troop of maniac 
harlequins, with whom they mingled, trampling each other 

Then happened the most awful thing of all, for the second 
shock broke suddenly across the expectant city. Mad already, 
men had hoped the worst was over, and, lo, it came! 

Dorothea found herself lying on the floor, with her head 
against the table; the table itself hung jammed in a comer, 
whither all the furniture of the room had swept before it sank 
away again, in broken bits. Her wardrobe had fallen forwards, 
with a thud that sent her heart into her mouth. It lay not far 
from her : she realized that she had escaped : she was alive. 

The consciousness of this individual escape restored her 
nerves to some sort of balance. She had trusted God, a moment 
before, to do whatsoever He would with her: she now trusted 
Him to help her through. 


She tore open her door with some difficulty and crossed the 
narrow passage to Bebecca's room. Here also the furniture had 
been upset : the bedstead stood near the middle of the floor, and 
a hump in the bedclothes proclaimed that it was still occupied. 
Dorothea went up and touched the hump. A wriggle was the 
only reply. " Bebecca I " she cried. The wriggle became a suc- 
cession of violent contortions, in the course of which the whole 
bundle rolled away to the ground, where it found voice, lying 
screaming. Dorothea resolutely went round and tore aside the 
blankets, revealing Eebecca's congested face, of which the eyes 
remained tightly closed. 

" Go away, devil ! Go away, devil I " screamed Eebecca, at 
least a dozen times. 

" Silence I Open your eyes. It is I," said Dorothea sternly. 

Rebecca, when she had heard these words, obeyed. She tried 
to steady herself, a dishevelled figure, in the bundle of bed- 
clothes. Staring, as one distraught, she evidently did not even 
as much as see her mistress, but continued to pour out alternate 
objurgation and defiance to the fiend who she thought had come 
to fetch her, in this final collapse of all things. " Lord, take 
away the devil ! " she shrieked, and flimg up her naked arms. 
" I'm a good woman ; Fve always been regular at church o' Sun- 
days! No, no, it's a lie; I'm a bad woman, a bad woman, a 
sinner, but I'm saved 1 I'm saved I You can't give me up to the 
devil. Lord, for I'm written in the Book of Life, Lord : the for- 
tune-teller said I was ! " She began to sing and cry together. 
From the street rose the rush of multitudes, and the long wail 
of sorrow and fear. 

" Come with me at once, before another shock occurs," said 

The maid's reply was a shriek — ^then suddenly, clinging to 
her mistress : " Is it you ? " she said. " I thought the foul fiend 
was upon me. They're coming! They're coming! Don't you 
hear them? I'm a wicked creature, Freule — ^hear me say it, if 
I die this moment — I'm a mountain of iniquity, a leaven of 
unrighteousness, a beast accursed, and a stench in the nostrils 
of God Ahnighty. I'm a '' 

" Put on your clothes at once ; I shall wait no longer,'' said 
Dorothea; and she gently got together a few garments and 
wrapped them round the poor, shivering things The whole 
scene had only taken a minute. 

Colonel Sandring stood in the doorway, completely dressed, 
looking very much as usual. " Dorothea^" he said, in a solemn- 


ized voice, " this is, of course, an earthquake. The shocks have 
not been severe enbugh, in this part at least, to cause serious 
disasters. From former experiences in other climes I imagine 
the worst is over. But you must come down into the open at 

" Yes, father ; let me help this poor soul," replied Dorothea. 

The Colonel slightly shrugged his shoulders. "By all 
means ; only help her quick I " he said. " Fetch your warmest 
cloak from your room. Let us go ! " 

The half-imhinged door of the bed-chamber opposite hung 
open, with a crack down the middle. Mademoiselle Aur61ie 
Bompard was running to and fro through her mistress's apart- 
ment, crying : " Where are the jewels ? " as loud as she could 
cry, but her voice sounded dull in the hubbub all round. She 
laughed heartily, as Dprothea entered with- the Colonel. "Ah, 
you are safe : that is right," said Aur^lie. " I have this bag " 
— she held it out — ^" is there anything else worth saving ? " Pink 
spots stood out on her yellow cheeks, and her arms and legs 
swung nervously, like a puppet's. 

"What is this?" asked the Colonel, pointing to a man's 
figure prostrate on the floor. 

"Some hotel servant!" Aurelie still laughed shrilly; "I 
found him here busy with the boxes. I had to break that jug 
on his head unawares. 'Tis of little account. There is crockery 
broken in plenty to-day — and possibly heads. Monsieur le 
Colonel, if there is nothing more worth saving, would you per- 
mit me to — go downstairs?" 

She curtseyed, with a little inconsequent run, as her muscles 
betrayed her, and ran, laughing, with the bag, to the door. 

The Colonel followed, carefully piloting his daughter among 
the horde of distracted, half -dressed hotel guests, and deposited 
her, with both maids, on one of the few still unoccupied seats 
in the public garden. " Stay here.. Keep cool. There is very 
little danger," said the Colonel. 

Rebecca settled herself on the bench, in the clear sunshine, 
smoothed out her gown, gazed right and left on the scene of 
desolation and despair, and sniffed. "Well, it's the judgment 
of the Lord," she said comfortably, " and no wonder I The lion 
hath roared (bark) : who shall not tremble ? The Lord hath 
spoken : who shall not — not ^" 

" Prophesy," said Dorothea. 

" Prophesy. For my part, if I was well out of this heathen 
country, the sooner it was swallowed up in abysses, the better. 


The devil's been let loose here too long, and God is beginning 
to talk to him. Heavens, you didn't feel another shake?" 

" No," answered Dorothea, " I — ^I don't think so. Of course, 
one feels giddy. But there is no rumbling. The heaving must 
be in our eyes, Rebecca. Sit still." 

Aurelie, a prey to continued nausea, had crept out of sight, 
behind some shrubs. She lay there, still clutching her mis- 
tress's bag. 

'^ It's like Jezebel to think of trinkets in the moment of judg- 
ment," snorted Rebecca, tottering to her feet, " but as she has 
saved them, we may as well see she don't carry them off." 

A moment afterwards fierce altercation, soon followed by a 
scream, resounded from the midst of the shrubbery. Dorothea 
found the two women scuffling over her bag. At least, the 
short struggle was. just over. The Frenchwoman had quietly 
drawn a hat-pin and stuck it through her aggressor's hand. '^ I 
am sorry," said Aurelie gently. "When I am compelled to 
stick, I sometimes stick too far I " Rebecca returned, weeping, 
to the bench, and Dorothea had to stanch the blood. 

A little company of nuns came down the garden-walk be- 
tween the groups of fugitives which lay piled up with a strange 
medley of belongings on every side. The nuns were singing a 
" Miserere " : it pealed in gently melody amidst the groans and 

" Jezebels like yon," said Rebecca, with a wave of her un- 
wounded hand at the nuns, " and Beelzebubs like these ! " She 
pointed to a gaudy Jester, with cap and bells, lying, manifestly 
drunk, in the roadway. 

The Colonel came back to them. " Quick I " he said. He 
led them to an open fiacre standing by the curbstone. In the 
fiacre was a very fat Jew gentleman, with many rings and a 
cadaverous countenance. " Monsieur, I must have the tem- 
porary use of this cab," said the Colonel. "You can remain 
in it, if you choose. It will take these ladies up to Cimiez." 

" 2e cap is mine I " squeaked its occupant. " I haf pait 
twenty louis to sit in it. I fill not moof ." 

"It is the only one, and I must use it," replied Sandring. 
"If you like a tight fit, then you need not 'moof.' Get in, 
Dorothea." She hesitated, looked at him, and obeyed. 

The fat man half rose, screaming. " Help I " he cried. 
**MurterI Sieves I Monsieur, I am ze Paron " 

" I know who you are," answered Sandring. " Sit still, you 
blackguard Jew, or I'll shoot you like the dog you are." The 


sight of a small revolver decided the mieertain coaehee, even 
more than the offer of a couple of extra napoleons, and the 
whole party drove off towards the Villa Buonarotti, with the 
Colonel on the box. 

" Give me those reins," said the Colonel presently. " Why, 
I do believe you're afraid, you fool." 

And, indeed, the scenes through which they were slowly 
struggling, might have caused a stouter heart than the purple 
Jehu's to quail. The Jew banker had closed his eyes and lay 
back, livid. Rebecca, squeezed on to the little front seat with 
her would-be "murderess," sat loudly singing, over and over 
again, the first verse of the hundred and twenty-fifth psalm: 

" Who in the Lord doth put his trust, 
As Zion's mount shall stay, 
That cannot shaken be or moved, 
But doth abide for aye! " 

Her shrill accents died away, however, in the clamor around 
them. The long Station Avenue, its tall eucalyptuses still himg 
with tawdry Carnival decorations, had vomited the sleepers 
from a hundred purlieus, half -naked amongst bedding, furniture 
and baggage in hasty encampments along the street. Scenes 
of hysteria and inebriety were everywhere, and worst of all was 
the constant rushing and calling of mothers for children, of 
children for mothers — the ringing of the same pet name in reit- 
erated cries of increasing agony — Fifil Fifi — ^Jeannot! — 
Suzotte I Suzotte I Su — ^zotte I 

The huge houses showed cracks in many places, some from 
top to bottom. Every now and then a tottering chimney or 
piece of cornice fell, amid shrieks and clouds of dust. A crim- 
son devil, a reminiscence of Vulcan's stithy, careered round the 
carriage for a long time, with obscene language, his brain appar- 
ently gone, and offered to kiss the loud-singing Rebecca. At 
last the Colonel cut him with the whip, and he fell back, cursing. 

Out in .the Cimiez greenness was smiling Nature, cloudless 
sky and splendor of sunshine. Only, the birds were silent: 
over all things hung a stillness so painful, it seemed a threat. 

" Let us get out here,'^ said Colonel Sandring at the gate of 
the Villa. He flung his card into the victoria. " Ask for any 
reparation you choose," he said to the almost inanimate banker. 
"Yours, I suppose, takes the form of the x>olice-court. All 

The Rodens had felt the shocks less severely on their rock: 


they had not experienced the upheaval of the terrified city; 
their perturbation was that of people whose refinement has 
trained them to reserve. They made Dorothea welcome on the 
terrace, where all sat encamped with their luggage. After a 
few hasty words the Colonel had disappeared. As soon as he 
was gone, Dorothea remembered that she had not yet told him, 
in this hurried half -hour, of Egon Roden's proposal. Curiously 
enough, she had not even recalled it,. herself. But she had given . 
him the aunts' telegram from a pocket of her dressing-gown. 
"We must stop them," he had said: nothing more. 

But within an hour he was back again : he called Dorothea 
into a separate comer of the garden. He was hot, and excited, 
but his voice was calm. " I have got a whole compartment for 
you in a train that leaves this afternoon," he said. " I had to 
buy it at* auction from a man who happened to have engaged 
it. Never mind what I paid. The station is a fearful sight, 
^ut they have sent for the troops. We shall be able to fight our 
way through by three." 

" You are coming too I " cried Dorothea. 

"No, my dear. There is not much danger: why should 
there come another shock? I cannot run away to-day. You 
will be safe with your aunts. And, by the bye, of course I had 
to buy the whole compartment. You can take as many of the 
Rodens as you like." 

" Father," said Dorothea, " Egon Roden asked me last night 
to be his wife." 


" I should like to, father, if you don't mind." 

The Colonel laughed. "Why should I mind?" he said. 
" To-morrow, please God, you will be safe in Paris, with your 
aunts, and the prettiest romance in my life — ^but one — ^will have 
come to an end. Like all the best romances — ^at least, the live 
ones — it has been brief. Why should I mind, if you like to 
marry a good-looking and •pleasant young German, very well 
bom, with a limp, and exceedingly uncertain expectations, for 
I presume you are aware of the peculiar conditions of the 
Rheyna entail ? The match may prove a better one than Pini : 
in any case, I can understand, with a young girl like you, youth 
and beauty outweighing a million more or less." 

" Don't father," said Dorothea. " And don't talk like that 
about a romance being ended." 

He came to her and took her face between his hands. 

"It has been very pleasant," he said. "But I am an old 


campaigner : my life has been a rough one, since your mother's 
death. I am not good enough for you, Dolly. Be honest: 
your chief idea of me is : Don't." 

She threw her arms roimd him : she hid her face against his 
neck, the tears were coursing down her cheeks. 

"Father," she whispered deep down into his collar, "when 
I marry, will you — ^will you — oh, father, will you marry too ? " 

He remained silent, but she felt his strong frame tremble 
under her : it was only by clinging to his neck that she herself 
remained erect. 

"I do not understand what you mean," he said at last, in 
a dull voice. 

She slid down on her knees, but her arms closed tight around 

"I don't know what I'm saying," she whispered hurriedly; 
" I don't know how to say it. Oh, father, dear, darling father, 
the sin I — ^the sin I Oh, father, God is merciful — isn't He good 
to us? He has saved us this morning from a terrible death I 
Perhaps this is the last hour we have to live. Father dear, you 
are a brave man and I am a coward. But, oh, father, darling 
father! He is willing to be merciful to all of us and help us 
to do right." 

He tore her up towards him, to his breast. " God bless you 
and bless you I " he said an(i held her tight. 

On the following day, late at night, after a journey of many 
delays, Dorothea entered the little sitting-room at the Hotel 
Victoria in Paris. The two aunts came forward to meet her. 
Uncle Tony held back. 

" Come to the tea-table," said aunt Mary, when all had 
calmed down. The hotel cat lay purring by the wood-fire. " He 
is better than nothing," said aunt Mary, " but it is difficult to 
attach any personal interest to a hotel cat." Yet she took the 
beast up and hid her face in its fur. 

"By the time we return," remarked Emma with a tragic 
air, " our own will most probably all be dead of neglect." 

"What, all eleven?" cried Tony, slapping his knee. 

Aunt Mary produced her small face from behind the hotel- 
cat and smiled. " I bribed — I can trust Caspar," she said, " to 
look after them better than we — than I should. Suzie has had 
SjBven kittens, Dorothea, since you left." 

"And what do you think the old creatures have done?" 
shouted Tony., " They've had little apertures made in the sit- 


ting-room doors, just the size for the cats to crawl in and out, 
with little green curtains to keep off the draught. Pish 1 " 

"But, Tony " 

" Bosh ! " snorted Tony. 

"No, really, I should have done it before,'' expostulated 
Mary humbly, "only I feared Dorothea would think that she 
hadn't been kind about opening the doors. My rheumatics are 
making me so lazy : I dread having to get up from my chair." 

" Rheumatism — rubbish," interrupted Emma. " You needn't 
have rheumatism, if only you'd take Pipperdonia. And now, 
Dorothea, pray tell us his name I " 

" Whose name ? Whose ? " Dorothea looked from one to the 

" Don't be silly. You telegraphed you were going to marry. 
It's absurd : you're too young, but who is it ? " 

" Why, that was Rebecca I " cried Dorothea, laughing and 

" Bless my soul, how very dreadful I " exclaimed uncle Tony, 
spilling a great splash of hot tea on aunt. Mary's dress. 

"But it's broken off. Nothing could persuade her to stay 
after the earthquake. Not even her cook ! " 

" Well, I'm glad to have her back," gasped uncle Tony, " and 
the man, whoever he is, may thank Providence for having got 
up that earthquake ! " 

Dorothea looked from one to the other. " But I— I'm afraid 
I am going to marry, dears," she stammered, blushing. "At 
least, I have been asked to do so, and " 

" More have been asked than have accepted," cut in aunt 
Mary, like a knife. "Every woman has always a right to say 
* no ' — Heaven be praised I " 

" * Heaven be praised,' indeed ! " retorted uncle Tony. 

" Hush ! Hush ! " interposed the gentle voice of aunt Mary. 
"Dorothea — tell us, darling — ^is it Egon von Roden?" 

" Why, aunt Mary, how did you guess ? " 

" Gu0ss, indeed : it's a shot I " cried Emma. " She's no 
earthly reason for saying it." 

Dorothea took aunt Mary's fragile fingers in her own and 
kissed them. 

" I only hope he is worthy of you," said aunt Mary. 

"He would find it a difficult task to be that," cried Tony, 
very hot and flurried. 

" But all women cannot remain old maids on that account/' 


said Emma, complacently nodding her head ; " in fact, but few 
women deserve to be old maids." 

" An ambifiTUbus sentence," remarked Tony, grinning in her 

"Not to persons of sense, dear Antony. "Now, Dorothea, 
tell us frankly : do you really want to marry this lad ? " 

" I believe he is good and honest, and I — ^I think he is very 
nice indeed," whispered Dorothea. 

" God grant that he make you happy, my dearest I " sighed 
Mary, and her far-away look settled wistfully on the indifferent 
hotel cat, who lay purring by the hearth. 

Uncle Tony struck his fist on the tea-table, causing the cups 
to jump up with a great rattle of spoons. He was discovered 
to be in a state of suppressed indignation : he looked more than 
ever like a distant cousin of Louis XVI. 

" A German ! " he gasped, in the clash of the tea-things. 

" What did you say ? " queried Mary. 

"I — ^I asked for another cup of tea," answered uncle Tony 
quickly. " Oh, he'll make Dorothea happy," he added with 
freshly rising wrath. " Any fool can take in any woman, never 

" Indeed, is that your opinion ? " cried Emma, catching ^re. 
^' I should .have said : Can a man make a woman happy ? He 
is only a man, only a poor, weak, human man." 

Dorothea laughed. " Rira bien qui rira le dernier," retorted 
her aunt Emma. A heavier shadow than anyone there had 
dreamed of sank black behind the lightly spoken words, and 
spread across the sudden silence of the hearth. Only the hotel 
cat purred on steadily, for the still, dull glow of the ashes was 
pleasant, and the wanderers of life's grim comedy are but pass- 
ing shades to a hotel cat. Nor has she ever been told — God bless 
her easy purring 1 — ^that there's nowhere a flame soars brightly, 
but somebody pays the bill. . 




Dorothea had come alone to Paris with her two attendant 
maids. 'No doctor would undertake the responsibility of moving 
General von Boden so far north at this early season of the year. 
Ultimately, therefore, Lugano was selected as the most advis- 
able intermediate station, and thither the whole family departed 
as soon as it became feasible to push along the railroad to Genoa. 

A couple of days must however elapse, before the journey 
seemed practicable. During that period the city, in its hideous 
confusion, remained a place to avoid. The population camped 
out in the streets, amidst all signs of wide-spread distress : the 
wealthier lived in tents, imder awnings, in landaus, scattered 
across the public gardens, along the esplanade. The poor 
bundled together anyhow, with their bedding and numerous 
progeny. The children played. And terrible human creatures 
that had suddenly arisen into the sunlight, none knew whence, 
prowled amongst the more isolated ruins, snarling for prey. 

On the night after that of Dorothea's departure the rather 
disconcerted Colonel invited Egon von Eoden to dine with him 
at a restaurant. "I dare say they can give us some sort of a 
dinner," he said. 

" I don't care what I eat," answered Egon. 

Colonel Sandring glanced at his companion and smiled. " To 
me," he said, "that looks the extreme of greediness. Only 
youth can be as greedy as that. Shall we turn down the Rue 
Maccarani ? " His smile softened down into a sigh, " I re- 
member," he continued, " when I was quite a little boy, I used 
to kiss my nurse-maid, oh, devotedly I I feel sure that she was 
very plain. Ah, well I I used to eat large quantities of a 
beastly stuff called toffy. Are you acquainted with toffe, von 




"Tis a pity," said the Colonel, with the faintest touch of 
persiflage; "you are so young, you might still like it. Noth- 
ing on earth tastes so delicious as the sweet another man has 
just told you he can no longer digest." 

Egon dindy realized that Colonel Sandring was drawing 
comparisons between their love-affairs, with inward laughter, 
and perhaps some faint regret. So he hastily changed the sub* 
jeet, back to the inevitable earthquake. " He lacks originality," 
thought the Colonel; but aloud that careless observer of his 
brethren only said: "I shall stay; we are all staying on at 
Monte Carlo. The rooms were never so cool, nor the tables so 
pleasantly empty. And lately I have won a — " he checked him- 
self — " a pot of money." 

" So much the better," answered Egon heartily ; " winning 
must be so much pleasanter than losing. And, besides, one 
rejoices to hear of every louis that is snatched from the princely 
blackguards who own the place I " 

" How very young these young Germans are I " thought the 
Colonel, mildly interested in this new amusement of studying 
your son-in-law. "I once knew an old lady," he remarked, 
" who possessed half a dozen shares in the Bank at Monte Carlo : 
she never staked more than her surplus dividends. She said 
it felt like losing to yourself and winning from your neigh- 

" Were you ever in an earthquake before ? " answered Egon. 

The Colonel sighed more heavily, but, "executing" him- 
self with the easy good grace which was his by nature, he con- 
sented to discourse of earthquakes only, of variously experienced 
upheavals in the shakiest comers of the globe. 

"Don't you care what sort of liquor you drink either?" he 
mildly inquired, as they took their places at a little table. 

" Yes, I like my wine to be good." 

" Bravo. I suppose you are aware that poor dear Dorothea 
is a teetotaller?" 

Egon frowned. "I was not," he answered shortly. Sand- 
ring adjusted his eye-glass with a slight assumption of inspect- 
ing his fresh-faced young vis-d-vis, "Well, of course, you 
hardly know her," he declared. " That's right. Nothing 
astonishes me so much as the manifest rule of Nature, that the 
happiest marriages are made from couples who knew each other 
least before they joined. Try this ketchup. Adam and Eve are 
a case in point." 

" Were they specially happy ? " 


" So devoted that Adam ruined himself, rather than decline 
the dessert Eve had got for him. Adam detested apples." 

*'How do you infer that?" inquired Egon with sudden 

"Every grown-up man does. The few exceptions are in- 
fluenced by boyish recollections of orchards and escapades. 
Adam could not have had those." 

" So you think he ruined himself, rather than be rude to his 

" Pardon me, rather than be rude to a woman, to the woman 
he loved — well, we have gone on doing that ever since. Has 
it occurred to you, Roden, that the first husband on this earth 
assumed a virtue, though he had it not — couldn't have it — ^I 
allude to conjugal fidelity? It would have been of absorbing 
interest to know what the first couple of us all would have done 
— ^but that chance is lost for ever." 

Egon laughed, yet with annoyance. "I hear subscriptions 
are coming in very freely," he said. "Baron Maurice 
Rialto ^" 

" Let us talk of gentlemen," interrupted the Colonel quickly; 
" the mention of a Rialto at dinner sours the wine. Surely, as 
a German noble you agree with me there ? You Germans have 
not yet learnt to eat gold-dirt, and call it " — ^he put on a Jewish 
accent — ^" manna." 

" Oh, of course I loathe money," answered Egon lightly. 
The ColonePs smile now became a grin; he consented to talk 
of the earthquake till the two men had settled down over their 
coffee, on a balcony, by the crash, in the dark, across shingle, 
of the ever-sounding sea. 

" You ought to be very grateful to me, you lucky young 
dog," said the Colonel. " That is good cognac, but it isn't — as 
the label says— '65." 

The young man sat watching the glow of his big cigar and 
reflecting upon his happiness. 

" After all, it is to me you owe the pleasure of Dorothea's 
acquaintance. I should never have introduced her to you, had 
I had an idea you were going to take her away from me." Sand- 
ring paused, reflecting on possibilities. 

" She is a dear girl," he said heartily. " By George, you are 
a lucky dog." 

" I am glad she is out of all danger," answered Egon. " The 
earthquake ^" 


" And, however a man may loathe money, it remains a desir- 
able thing." 

." When I said that I loathed money," began Egon imcom- 
fortably, "I didn't mean the possession of it as such — ^please 
don't think me a fool. I meant what you had just been alluding 
to — ^money as a social status, as a caste, the all-pardonable crime 
— ^la haute finance, the Rialtos, South Africa! The Commer- 
zienrathl You English are directer — ^you have not got the 
Commerzienrath — as soon as a man has made a couple of 
millions, you recognize in him your master, and immediately 
you call him * my lord.' " 

** You are quite right, my dear Roden : still, I congratulate 
you on a future both well-bom and wealthy," said the Colonel 
coolly, for he deemed the young man's remarks in bad taste. 

Egon dropped the cigar from his lips and caught it with an 
exclamation of distress. " I'm so sorry," he cried ; " I thought 
you knew. I'm a i)oor man. We shall hardly be able to marry 
just yet." 

Colonel Sandring was no longer of the age that is astonished. 
He was only of the age that is annoyed. "Do you mean to 
say," he asked in a queer voice, " that you are unaware of my 
daughter's fortune ? " 

"I know — ^little of your private affairs," replied Egon, who 
did not believe in " the system." 

" My private affairs are uninteresting, even to me. But my 
daughter's concern her future husband even more" — ^a faint 
sigh — ^" than her father." 

" Of hers I know nothing at all." 

" Do you mean to say " — the Colonel turned full on his son- 
in-law in spe — " that I am the first to inform you of Dorothea's 
position as an heiress with a great landed property in Holland 
and five thousand a year of her own ? " 

Egon von Roden sat quite still, staring into the blackness of 
the slow-thundering sea. 

" In Holland? " he said at last. 

"Yes: her mother was a Dutchwoman. Really, nothing 
seems more amazing to the philosopher than the way in which 
we all, men and women, marry we don't know whom, and we 
don't know what. I suppose love is a providential dispensation. 
We are all more or less in the position of the bridegroom who 
had to be brought to the altar drunk. We shouldn't venture 
sober, certainly the women wouldn't, poor things I My wife was 


a Baroness van Brodryck: Dorothea is a lady of the manor in 
her mother's right." 

" A Baroness van Brodryck," echoed Egon; " I believe I have 
heard the name." There rang in his voice such unmistakable 
satisfaction, that Sandring burst out laughing. 

" You care more about that than about the fortune," he said- 
"How German you are, RodenI Thank your stars that I'm 
not a pig-headed insular Colonel Smythe! Look here, I like 
you, somehow, for not knowing about the money. So you 
thought you were marrying the child of a poor adventurer, who 
gambles at Monte Carlo ? D 1 so you are." 

" A man always likes to think his wife's mother was a gentle- 
woman," answered Egon stilBBy. "Dorothea does not care to 
speak of her dead parent. Well, it is time I was going back 
to the Villa ; my uncle has exchanged Monte Carlo for Cimiez." 

" Stay a minute I " Sandring laid his hand on the other's 
sleeve. " There is something I especially wished to speak about. 
' You are going off to Lugano — ^Dorothea had made an arrange- 
ment with me — she is a — ^how shall I say? — ^pecuniary partner 
in the great undertaking which absorbs all my energies at this 
moment — perhaps you might write to her, now that you know 
of all this money — I do not wish to press any obligations you 
may haVe incurred towards me — ^but, really — ^w«ll, this is a most 
important turning-point in my career — ^Dorothea must lend me 
another thousand pounds, and I shall never be in need of money 
again." The Colonel gasped. 

"I can't write to Dorothea about money," answered Egon, 
. in the shadow of a pillar, against the wall. 

" Well, no, hardly, unless it were to commend to her a share 
in my success. But — ^I don't like to use the word * obligation ' : 
let us say service — if you owe me any service, after all, as Doro- 
thea's accepted husband, you can do these things for her. Your 
credit is nearly as good as hers : Levysohn will see that. I wish 
you would do me the slight favor of putting your name to a 
bill — a loan, of course — to-morrow morning, and then there need 
be no more talk of any debt from you to me." He tried to look 
into the German's face, a little anxiously, for he was beginning 
to fight shy, in his good nature, of this young man's considerate 
silences. He could appreciate — he knew the feeling — all dislike 
of causing pain. 

" You put me in a terrible position," said Egon at last. " I 
should be only too pleased to do anything you might wifih ^" 

« That's right." 


" But — don't you see ? — the money I should eventually have 
to meet such a bill with, would be Dorothea's." 

"There is no danger in that," replied the Colonel coolly, 
flinging a match over the balustrade ; " I shall make a fortune, 
I tell you, in a week or two." 

Egon did not answer. 


"I'm so sorry!" burst out the young man. "I wish you 
would have let me go in silence! I — ^you compel mc to speak, 
Colonel Sandring. I do not believe in success at the tables, and 
I think such success were a crime." 

Colonel Sandring rose at once. "You take a load off my 
heart," he said. " I had grave doubts whether any man could 
be good enough for Dorothea. You have reassured me. You 
are good enough — quite good enough — even for her." He 
walked to the other end of the balcony, and called for a waiter. . 
" The bill ! " he said. Then he came back and held out his hand. 
" Good-night and good-bye. I hope Lugano will suit the Gen- 
eral. The funicular railway will amuse you. And there will 
always be the earthquake for you to talk about. It is an inter- 
esting experience, an earthquake, like marriage. Nothing 
upsets one's preconceived ideas of stability so much. But you 
are a good young man; your head is screwed straight on your 
shoulders. I am heartily glad you are going to marry Doro- 
thea. Good-bye!" 

" Colonel Sandring, I have offended you ; you are laughing 
at me," answered Egon. "I wish you could see how much, 
in my heart — if you will permit me to say so — ^I like you, how 
anxious I am to gain your good will. I am a young fellow, 
and I don't pretend to be particularly clever, but I love Doro- 
thea. I'm not worthy of her; you must help me to — ^to make 
her as happy as we can." 

Sandring squeezed the hand of his future son-in-law. Tears 
stood in the gallant Colonel's eyes. Presently he turned to the 
approaching waiter. " You should give better cognac than that 
at the price," he said. 


A COUPLE of days after the Rodens, Dorothea arrived at 
Lugano with her two aunts and uncle Tony. Mademoiselle 
Aurelie was in attendance, Rebecca having resolutely refused 
to take another step southwards — "to the earthquake," she 
called it. The aunts had advocated the immediate dismissal 
of Mademoiselle Bompard, but uncle Tony had deprecated this 
step: he felt as if the careful, smart little maid might form a 
protection for Dorothea in the great world to which her fate 
now tended. And the girl herself bowed unwilling obedience 
to her father's parting warning; "Keep that maid; you will 
find that you need her." " Dorothea," the Colonel had recently 
written — she found his letter at the Poste Restante of Lugano 
— " I believe you are going to marry a very good man. But, 
my dear, trust an old philosopher, who has seen men and cities : 
do not love him for his goodness, as I dare say you are apt 
to do. It doesn't answer; no human man's character can bear 
the strain. Love him for himself, as he is, with his faults. And 
find them out, the sooner the better. Before marriage, if' 
possible. Every other love comes a crash." 

"N'o, I love him for his goodness," said Dorothea, looking 
out upon the solemn sweetness of the Swiss-Italian lake. She 
was sitting on a little height in the climbing hotel garden, under 
a particolored glory of Washington camelias in full bloom. All 
around her spread, as a blood-marble pavement, the white and 
crimson ruins of equal splendors overhead. In the calm even^ 
ing sunshine she sat thoughtful, watching the great shadows 
sloping across the granite of the farther shore. Peace lay 
about her, after the storm of the preceding weeks — ^the peace 
of the old surroundings in heart and tranquil life-scene. Very 
different from the drunken blaze of the Riviera. 

Upon her pure face sank reflected the simple calm of lake 
and sky. At least, so it seemed to Egon Roden, coming up the 
path with uncertain step. 

" You ought not to tire your foot," she said anxiously. 

He bit his lips, that she should recall his infirmity. He 


hated it ; spite of all his bravery, he hated it, since his engage- 
ment, with quite a new hate. 

" I had no right to ask you to marry me," he said abruptly-, 
standing beside her. 

"You have no right to say that," she answered quickly, 
"having asked me. Never any right to say that." Her cheek 
flushed. A great crimson blossom, white-seamed, fell heavily 
from above, upon her knees. She held it out to him, laughing. 
" Thus," she said, " am I fallen, a dead weight, into your lap." 

He took the flower and kissed it, kissed the flnger-tips which 
held it, imprisoning them in his own. "Dorothea," he said 
very earnestly, "I want you to believe that I had not the 
slightest idea you were rich." 

"Does it matter?" she answered, with a touch of scorn. 

"I think it does. I have troubled about it, very greatly." 

She looked up at him with eyes whose expression he could 
not fathom, half laughing, half sad. " I And it so difficult to 
understand all this talk about money. Of course I know it is 
very important. But at Brodryck there was always enough and 
never too much. It was not — how shall I say? — a subject of 
conversation. Uncle Tony use to tease me about 'business,' 
but that was different. Egon, I hope you like dear old imde 

"Very much indeed," said Egon, who had barely seen the 
old gentleman as yet. 

" And aunt Emma — ^you will like aunt Emma. She is a 
pearl set in a — set in a " 

" Closed oyster," continued Egon readily, for aunt Emma 
had received him with a snap. "Yes, I feel sure I shall like 
aunt Emma." 

" I do not ask you to like aunt Mary : you could not help 
yourself." She rose. " I promised to go up the Salvatore with 
uncle Tony. He said he wanted a talk with me." She faintly 
shrugged her shoulders. "Business, I suppose." His face 
clouded over at the words. "My father may possibly be mis- 
taken," she said soothingly ; " I don't think anyone except uncle 
Tony really knows anything about my affairs." 

" The whole thing is idiotic," he replied bitterly, kicking a 
dead camelia across the ^ path. "People would laugh at me if 
I said I wanted you to be poor. I laugh at myself. Yet, I 
know how it will be. These relations of yours will say I have 
asked you for your money — ^I have practised on your innocence, 
your inexperience. I know the prejudice there is, besides, about 


poor Germans proposing to Dutch heiresses. I could have 
faced these simple aunts and that canny old gentleman much 
more happily a day or two ago, Dorothea. Do you know what 
Miss Emma said to me at the station? — ^'You have possessed 
yourself of a treasure, monsieur,' she said, * a treasure in every 
sense.' " 

Dorothea bit her tongue, perhaps wishing it was aunt 
Emma's. " Well? " she said, bravely seeking his gaze. " Well? 
You are not flattering to me, mein Herr Egon ? " 

" So be it. If she, and your father, and everybody, see in 
you only the treasure that I seized at on the night of the earth- 
quake, I shall be well content. But the world is too coarse for 
that. I have seen a man buy a Bible for sixpence, and say it 
was too much." 

She stood still by the hotel door. "I love you for your 
goodness," she said, with words that sounded to her like an 
echo, " for your goodness. Uncle Tony is waiting in the hall." 

" It is not that," he cried passionately. " Only, Dorothea, 
Dorothea : we know each other so little : we met in yonder dis- 
gusting atmosphere of Monte Carlo I I want you to believe 
always, once for all, that I loved you, whatever other, people may 
tell you, for yourself, for yourself alone!" 

" I am vain enough to believe it," she answered gravely. 

" Thank you. I shall never, now, do you the insult of allud- 
ing to the subject again." He stood looking at her for a 
moment, calmly, but a great tenderness swelled across his eyes. 

" Uncle Tony, I am sure I am in time," said Dorothea. 

"My dear, it is quite possible. You are bound to be in 
some time, Swiss, French, or Italian. There isn't any particu- 
lar time to be in, in this part of the world. I prefer the church 
clock at Brodryck." 

" Which is always wrong." 

" Well, yes, but there is method in its wrongness, the wrong- 
ness of all village clocks. Ten minutes too fast on Sundays, 
and ten minutes too slow all the rest of the week. There, at 
least, I know what to go by. Well, Dorothea, I hope you con- 
tinue to like your German, Sprechen Sie Deutsch ? " 

" You are all against him," said Dorothea piteously. They 
were hurrying along the quay: the steel-blue water quivered 
beside them. The truth of the remark struck unwilling uncle 
Tony so forcibly, that he protested with all the vehemence at 
his command. All nationalities on earth, of course, without 
a single exception, cordially detest one another. Only the 


travelled classes — ^the travelled of the mind — can endure each 
other's virtues and faults. Uncle Tony had never travelled 
beyond himself. He disliked Germans, whose language he 
could not speak, and whom he conceived to be fortune-hunters 
all. He was furious with the result of his poor little plan for 
showing Dorothea a bit of the world, outside Brodryck: he 
was disgusted at the girl, for thus abjectly tumbling into the 
very first trap that had been cast across her path. " Dorothea 
must please herself," said aunt Mary, a little sadly. Her niece 
had told her all the tale of Pini, all except the Colonel's gamb- 
ling habits and his shame. "I have constantly had your last 
words in my thoughts,"' said Dorothea, " the words you spoke 
to me in the upper room at Brodryck, aunt Mary. God put 
them on your lips before I left." The old lady lifted her hands 
to heaven. "Ah, my dear, we never make other people's mis- 
takes," she sighed; "we only make our own." " Quos perjury 
vult Deus, previous dementicat I " declared aunt Emma. That 
was all the Latin she could speak, but she could frequently speak 
it. Such is the world that the quotation often comes pat: it 
has the advantage of rendering the Almighty Love responsible 
for all our folly and all our misfortunes. Aunt Emma had been 
watching the lovers under a palm-tree; she closed the window 
with a bang. 

When Dorothea had been up the funicular railway with 
uncle Tony and admired the view from Monte Salvatore, and 
criticised the approaching sunset and the weather chances for 
the morrow, and had furthermore endured, though she did not 
share it, the home-staying old gentleman's extreme nervousness 
about the descent in the cars, she could stand the strain no 
longer. As they were rapidly slipping donwards, and uncle 
Tony's red face hung craning over the clear abyss below, she 
suddenly burst out: "You all do him the greatest injustice I 
If I am rich, he is sorry enough for it. Only the other moment 
he was telling me, how he wished that I was poor ! " 

Uncle Tony extracted an agitated countenance from the iron 
network through which he had been unnecessarily squeezing it. 
" Really, only fools want to travel and see things," he answered. 
" Ah, my dear, did your German actually sky that ? " 

" I wish you would not call him my German," objected Doro- 
thea pettishly. 

"My dear, I heartily wish he was somebody else's. Well, 
well, we must make the best of a bad business. And to think 
that there are so many young men in Holland ! " Uncle Tony 


again strove to gaze right away down into horrible depths. He 
chuckled to himself, however, as he sat blinking distractedly. 
" Well, well," he mumbled; " well, well, so he actually told her 
that he wished she was poor." He was very excitable all 
through dinner ; the aunts stared at each other, in dismay. The 
ascent, he declared, had upset his equilibrium. People oughtn't 
to travel. Old people, especially, were better at home. 

" If you mean that for me," remarked Emma, " I may tell 
you that I am thoroughly enjoying my trip. I like this hotel. 
It is full of newly-married couples. I watch them. I have 
observed two tiffs already, and one make-up." 

"I am going for a smoke with von Roden," replied Tony. 
" Dorothea looks j;ired. Dorothea, you had better get to bed." 
He carried Egon off with him to a restaurant by the water- 
side, where a second-rate music-hall performance was frequently 
given of nights. 

" I appreciate this sort of thing I " confessed the old gentle- 
man, when he had listened to, and heartily applauded, a couple 
of ultra-sentimental ditties. "I am not hlctse, you see, like 
you young men that have been everywhere. I don't get this 
sort of entertainment at Brodryck, and I haven't been abroad 
since I was forty ! " He laughed heartily, the next moment, 
over a comic performer, whose humor consisted in blowing a 
baby's nose. He was redder in the face than ever, purple, as 
he stamped his fdet and choked; and, the liqueurs being fin- 
ished, he demanded beer. Egon von Roden, who was quite 
happy over the music-hall programme and the old gentleman's 
delight in it, began to feel vaguely alarmed. Was uncle Tony 
always so nervous, so exceedingly excited? Did he always 
knock his stick on the table and applaud with such excessive 
intensity? — above all, was it a habit of his to sit chuckling, and 
staring at his companion and drinking beer ? "I am enjoying 
myself, I am thoroughly enjoying myself," said uncle Tony, 
very loud. A couple of girls at a neighboring table looked 
round and giggled. " I feel quite young again to-night," cried 
Tony; " my dear von Roden, have another glass of beer! When 
I was at the university, young men weren't afraid of a bottle 
or two — of anything. This beer is a great deal stronger than 
what I drink at home." He got even more excited as the enter- 
tainment progressed. " Bravo ! " he cried, as he watched some 
athletes, balancing hundredweights. "Now comes the tug of 
war ! " And he blinked, with that curious stare of his, at Egon. 

"Is the light trying to your eyes? Shall we sit farther 


back, in the shade, on the terrace?" suggested Egon, pleased 
with his own diplomacy. 

" The very thing I was going to propose ! " exclaimed the 
exuberant old gentleman. They moved to a seat, outside the 
half-open glass screen, against some big plants, in the dark. 
On their way thither uncle Tony told a waiter to bring cham- 
pagne. "Don't be alarmed," he said, as they settled down in 
their secluded comer ; " nobody will note us here, and after that 
heavy beer, a glass of something lighter will do us all the good 
in the world before we turn in for the night." Egon could not 
object ; he felt sure of his own unwilling powers, but he doubted 
the old man's. 

" You are a very lucky fellow I " said uncle Tony abruptly. 
Egon Koden frowned: of course he was a lucky fellow. He 
wondered whether he was going to be congratulated again, as 
by Colonel Sandring, upon Dorothea's wealth. 

The words of an English song came shrilling out to them: 

"And this is what I s-v-y, 

I know the time of d-y-y, 
You needn't come a-courtin' me, 

Unless you're goin' to p-y-yl " 

" A lucky fellow, indeed I " cried uncle Tony, his whole face 
twitching, his knees trembling, his manner stranger than ever. 
" Dorothea's the most charming creature that ever walked God's 
earth I" 

Suddenly Egon felt as if he could have embraced uncle Tony. 

" You think so, surely I " persisted Tony testily. 

"Why, of course — don't I love her?" answered Egon, sur- 

" You'd think so under all circumstances I " continued Tony, 
wagging his head, and pouring out the champagne. He drank 
off quite a bumper at a gulp. 

" There's only one pity," he said very loud : then his voice 
died away to a squeaky whisper : " She hasn't got as much 
money as people think — as people think." 

" So you needn't come a-courtin' me, unless you're goin' to 
p — ^y — ^y ! " Torrents of applause, in which imcle Tony joined. 

"In fact " Uncle Tony clutched at Egon's arm and 

poured the words into his ear : " Losses — ^you understand — ^mort- 
gages — ^bad debts — agricultural depression — unfortunate invest- 
ments! What are we?" Uncle Tony put both hands on the 
German's shoulders and gazed into his eyes. "I mean finan- 
cially speaking I Here to-day : gone to-morrow — ^phew I " 


Uncle Tony blew a breath into emptiness, and refilled Egon'a 

" So she is quite poor," said Egon. 

" She is certainly what a man like you would call * poor.' 
Never mind, love is a lovely thing, yoimg sir. If I had ever 
loved, which I haven't, I shouldn't have minded if my love had 
money or hadn't, I should not have reverted to the subject at 
all ! It would not have occurred to me I " cried uncle Tony. 

Egon von Roden sat very still. Like most truly proud men 
— ^but pride is so rare a quality! — ^he was shy, and could not 
now say what he wanted to. 

" It is chilly here," exclaimed uncle Tony with all the brisk- 
ness of sudden discovery. Having uttered his message, deliv- 
ered himself of the load on his heart, he took no further note 
of the champagne bottle, but rose to his feet with a gentle 
obliquity of motion, and declared his intention to return. 

" Stay and enjoy yourself," he said. " The singing is excel- 
lent. How funny that fellow is with his flapping hands? 

"Let me walk to the hotel with you I I don't care for the 

" N'o thank you," replied uncle Tony stiffly, and marched off 
to his bed and chortled himself asleep. 

When he woke up in the morning, after heavy dreams, he 
sat up and smiled to his Bourbon face in the glass. The face 
was not as bright as usual, a little yellow about the eyes. He 
reflected that he had managed a ticklish business most excel- 
lently well : he put out his tongue and shook his head. " I had 
to work up my courage," he said to his reproachful image. " In 
fact, I was in the very devil of a funk." Then he lay back, 
dizzy, on his pillows and dozed till a knock at the door intro- 
duced, not the waiter with breakfast, but Egon von Roden. 

" They said you were not well, so I came up to inquire," 
remarked Egon. 

" Pooh, I'm well enough," was the not very gracious reply. 
"This foreign cuisine disagrees with me." 

" Dorothea and I are going out, this afternoon, on the lake." 

" Humph ! Well, Herr von Roden ? " 

" Is there anything I can do for you ? " 

"As fond of Dorothea as ever?" 

" Fonder." 

Uncle Tony sat up. "Do you mean to say you are glad 
she is poor?" 


" If you put it like that, no. I'm not glad she is poor, but, 
somehow, I was sorry she was rich." 

" But that doesn't make sense I " cried uncle Tony. 

"I suppose not: however, that's all the sense I can make 
out of it. And I'd much rather discuss my dear future wife 
than her prospects — uncle Tony." 

"You're not bound to marry her yet," said uncle Tony 
sulkily. " Slip through the Gothard by the ten o'clock express. 
I'll manage the rest." 

Egon's face turned white. "What, in Heaven's name, do 
you mean ? " he cried. " Dorothea has never told you to speak 
those words. I am sure that she — ^likes me, though I don't 
deserve it. What, in God's name, do you mean ? " 

Uncle Tony sat staring intently at the young man beside 
him. " I'm an ass," he said suddenly. " I needn't have given 
myself a headache. I suppose people learn to blunder at Brod- 
ryck. Look here, I — ^how shall I put it ? " — ^he fumbled at the 
bed-clothes — " I told you last night that Dorothea had lost some 
money. Well, so she has. She's lost a couple of hundred 
pounds that I invested in Louisianas; and she's lost another 
hundred on the lease of one of the farms. That's all I've ever 
lost in these twenty years — ^not another penny. I don't mind 
about the lease, you see; but the thought of the Louisianas is 
what people call a nail in my coffin. However," he added cheer- 
ily, "a coffin wants a lot of nails." 

" I don't understand," said Egon earnestly. " I don't want 
to know, uncle Tony, but I should like to understand. Why 
do you talk of these matters to me? You said last night that 
Dorothea \^as poor ! " 

" Well, so she is poor — certainly what your uncle would call 
so. She has but a paltry five thousand a year I " Uncle Tony 
lay back, smiling. He abhored the prospect of Dorothea's dis- 
appearance into foreign countries, but he could not, for the life 
of him, help liking this young man he had roundly abused in 
his soul. In his rustic blending of ingenuity and ingenuous- 
ness he thought things had almost come right. 

" I don't understand. I don't understand at all," said Egon. 

"Never mind: you needn't. I'm glad to find you don't. 
Let us say no more about it." 

Egon had turned to look out of window, on the smiling land- 
scape. He now suddenly faced round. 

"You thought I had asked Dorothea, for the sake of her 
money. You wanted to find out." 


Uncle Tony lay back, laughing. " Well, my dear boy, if so, 
the fault was yours. Why did you tell Dorothea you were 
sorry to hear of her wealth?" 

"You thought I lied. You thought I was one of those 
Riviera adventurers." Egon Roden came towards the bedstead, 
his face set, his hands tight-clenched along his hips. " Great 
God, I should never have thought it possible that one man 

could so hurt another I I — ^I " He fled from the room, and 

out into the open air. 

Aunt Emma was sitting sunning herself near the hotel 
entrance. " Look I " she said. " Hist I Do you see that young 
couple there? They are compatriots of yours. They had made 
it up yesterday, but they have just quarrelled dreadfully about 
a fresh subject — ^walks I Hush I Listen for a minute : you will 
hear them I " 

And, indeed, the man's voice came across to them from a 
garden-seat, in loud accents. "It is absolutely necessary for 
my constitution. My doctor insists upon a proper amount of 
exercise I " 

" Yours is an improper amount I " rang the answer. " I 
refuse to be fagged to death, on my honeymoon I Go, then, 
walk with the red-haired Mees you admired on the boat I " 

"Now I," said aunt Emma, folding her hands, "when I 
wish to repose myself, I repose myself. Antony, when he 
desires to march after rabbits, he marches. Go away, Herr 
von Roden; you disturb them. They guess that you under- 

Egon was most willing to comply: he wanted a talk with 
the Generalin, and went in search of her at her pension, a shel- 
tered villa, between slopes. 

The sitting-room was empty: he passed through it into his 
mother's bedroom; that also was deserted, but a couple of let- 
ters for him, just come by post, lay on the table. He broke 
them open: doubtless, she had laid them aside, intending to 
take them down to him. 

Meanwhile the little Generalin ushered aunt Mary into the 
sitting-room. Aunt Mary was dressed in her very best silk, 
and her face was paler than ever. 

"Yes, I am anxious to speak with you," said aunt Mary, 
" very, very anxious, indeed." 

" Do not sit in the draught," replied the Generalin. 

Aunt Mary, for answer, got up and closed the window — shut 
out the brightness and the hundred humming noises of the gar- 


den — as if inadvertently, she flung forward the curtain, and 
the little hotel room became very dark and still. 

" Dorothea has no mother," said aunt Mary. 

" I trust that she will find one in me," replied Frau von 

Aunt Mary gulped down a swift impulse of resentment. 
« Thank you." 

The quick sympathies of the little Gteneralin understood. 
** She has never, I should think, felt the loss of one," said the 
Greneralin. "I owe you and your sister the treasure you are 
willing to share with my boy." She extended her hand: aunt 
Mary took it, held it, dropped it. " You make my task some- 
what easier," said aunt Mary, shuddering. " It is a very dread- 
ful task. I do not know how to begin." 

Frau von Roden waited. 

" A treasure, as you say. My only earthly treasure." Aunt 
Mary sank back, as far as she could, into the shade. " Her only 
guardian, as you say, am I. With more than a mother's respon- 
sibility. Colonel Sandring, in these matters, counts for noth- 
ing. Do not let me wrong him: no man would. The — ^the 
sacredness of a woman's life can only be safe-guarded by 

When the silence was becoming painful, the Generalin said : 
*' Quite true." The words seem to rouse all the protest in aunt 

" Too true I " she cried. " And how many women — ^that 
should be watchers — ^lie asleep at the gates of the temple I 
Madam, I have a right to ask you — I! — is your son worthy of 
this virgin heart that he has stolen? Surely, you will answer 
me, oh, surely I — * Do you come here to insult my son ? ' Nay, 
God knows such thought is far from me. I come with f elir and 
trembling, and horror of myself and of you I And what, after 
all, avails me your answer ? " She shrank away, as if she would 
hide in the solid wall behind her. " What does a mother know 
of the life of her son ? " 

Egon having finished his letters, and the Bonner Zeitung, 
and hearing voices, tried to go out by the bedroom door: but 
the Generalin had a habit of locking hotel doors. He paused, 

" Listen," continued aunt Mary quickly. " I had a friend, 
as a girl, whom I loved very dearly. She married, young, a 
man she by no means disliked. Her father made the match: 
she gave her hand and her heart, as girls will, pleased. I am 


sure the man loved her — ^like a man : that is to say, he wanted 
to marry her. Within a year of their marriage, complications 
became known to her — there was a child: it has died since. 
The shock came to her imder peculiar circumstances: she was 
ailing: she died in giving birth to her baby." 

The Generalin looked up ; she knew that this baby was Doro- 
thea. " Mothers," she spoke gravely, " as you say, know too 
little of the lives of their sons. But of this my eldest I know 
the heart. I would lay my own daughter's happiness in it and 
be glad." 

But aunt Mary hid her white face in her trembling hands. 
" You are a mother," she stammered. " Life would be imposs- 
ible to us women, if God had not blessed mothers with blind- 
ness. I have seen women, many women, mothers of grown 
sons, and their hearts were guileless as the doves — ^nay, silly 
as the chickens! It is wrong for a woman, you say, to know. 
Nay, madam, it is wrong for her to ignore ! " 

She rose, suddenly, and cast down her hands : the tempered 
sunlight flushed her cheeks. " Think of me as you will," she 
cried. "What care I? My child's future is at stake! I, then, 
I venture to hnow. I venture to know, and to share, vigilance 
work, rescue work, work against infamous legislation! It is 
the natural work, as it seems, for us, the unloved old maids, the 
disappointed, with no men to protect us, or impede ! It is we, 
then, in our loneliness, who must help each other, wise as ser- 
pents, against you, the guileless of our race! I will know" — 
she stamped her foot — "whether my dear child's future — ay, 
her bodily health — is safe in the hands of this chance man she 
has picked up in the street ! " 

The Generalin, white to the lips, stood in the middle of the 

" I would gladly give my life for the child," said aunt Mary, 
with the calm of desperation, "and shall I not sacrifice what 
doubtless you would call my modesty? My modesty, forsooth! 
I am old: I have seen little of the world, but enough. I do 
not demand of a young man the purity of a maiden. But I 
demand, for my Dorothea, that this man shall not hurt her, 
when he folds her to his breast ! " 

The door opened, between the two rooms, and Egon stood 
in it. 

The Generalin ran forward. " Egon ! " she cried, " Egon ! " 
She threw Jier arms round her son's neck, and rested her small 


head against his stalwart shoulder. The whole room lay quiet. 
" Thank God, thou canst answer," she said. 

The young man folded one arm around her waist, and turned 
gently to aunt Mary. "I have only heard your last words," 
he said. " These I can answer. For I can give you even more 
than you demand." 

Aunt Mary sank back upon a couch and began crying 

For a moment £gon stood gazing from one woman to the 
other, desirous to say something, afraid lest a word should give 
pain. Then he softly disengaged himself, as aimt Mary's weak 
sobs rose persistent, stepped forward, timidly kissed the poor 
hand that lay abandoned on the black silk gown, and stole from 
the room. 

The Generalin remained, as he had left her, lost in silence 
and perplexity. Gradually she approached the couch on which 
the old lady lay weeping, and seated herself there, and waited. 
But all the flush of boldness had died away from aunt Mary's 
heart : she was deeply troubled, yet whether for sadness or glad- 
ness she could not have told. There was shame upon her, all 
a good woman's shame for a world that lieth in wickedness. 
She dared not to uplift her eyes to look upon the other's face. 

The Generalin, after much hesitation, bent and kissed the 
old lady, but not as Egon had done. Kissed her gently on the 
brow. " Blessed are the pure in heart," she said firmly, " for 
they shall see God " — then she also stole from the room. 

In her own bedchamber she took up an imfinished letter to 
her second son, Konrad. Her lips shook. She laid it down 
again and sat looking out of the window, for a long time, away 
into the pale blue sky. " It was Egon," she murmured. " Sup- 
posing it had been Konrad I Ah, Mademoiselle Mary, a mother 
knows many things that no one ever told her ! " 

It was here that Egon still found her, after the luncheon- 
bell had gone. 

" My father is worse," he began quickly. " You have noticed 
it: I have noticed it — ^why, then, should we hide it from one 

" I thought you had not remarked anything," answered the 
Generalin. " Perhaps it is only the change. I do not think 
Gertrude has perceived it." 

"But, mother, you and I — we have no secrets from one 

"Egon, then let us hf^Ye none. He wants you — perhaps it 


is only a sick man's fancy — ^he wants you, oh, so much I to be 
married before he — ^before he ^" 

"For Heaven's sake, don't put it like that!" ezclaimed 
Egon. "He's not as bad as that, mother." 

"Perhaps not. But you know, Egon, it is very important, 
under the circumstances, that you should marry immediately I " 

"Yes, yes, I know," he answered irritably. "Perhaps it is 
all the better. I am beginning to think that, if I stay on much 
longer with uncle Tony, I shall never be married at all." 

" You do not like him ? " asked the Generalin, with her hand 
on the door-knob. 

" No, I cannot say I like him. But then, I am not going 
to marry him. Come, mother dearest, my father will be wait- 
ing lunch." 

That afternoon, in the boat, Egon, resting on his oars, ex- 
claimed suddenly to Dorothea : " For one moment we must talk 
business, please." 

"You begin like imcle Tony," laughed the girl. 

" But mine is, to me at least, very sweet business, very sweet 
and very sad. Dorothea, my father is failing fast. And — ^he 
is very anxious for us to marry, whilst we still have him with 

Immediately Dorothea was all sympathy. She thought the 
nearest relations were over-anxious. The General seemed so 
bright and cheerful — ^but Egon put her pretty comf ortings aside. 

"We — ^we cannot be married so very soon?" she stam- 

" I told you there was business connected with the matter," 
continued Egon, and resumed rowing very fast. "It is dis- 
gustingly stupid, and tragi-comic, like life. Dorothea, you 
know that my uncle, the present bearer of the title, and owner 
of all the estates, is unmarried. Doubtless, your father has told 
you all about our entail ? " 

" No," replied Dorothea, " only that you had a curious family 
agreement, that lots must be cast between sons to see who should 

" Yes, that is our * Hausgesetz,' as we Germans call it. Had 
my father, the only brother, survived — ^but that does not look 
likely, alas I — ^he would of course have become Count Roden- 
Rheyna. Otherwise, lots must be cast between all who next fol- 
low in the same degree of relationship — ^my two brothers, for 
instance, and myself." 

" Yes, I understand — ^it is very strange," said Dorothea. 


''It is not a unique case: there is a good deal to be said 
for the idea of allowing God to choose directly between all equal 
brothers — or cousins. That, of course, is the old feudal idea, 
the God's Choice. But, see, there is one other, not unjust, pro- 
vision. The married brothers exclude the unmarried." 

" I understand, then, by marrying you become the heir." 

" As long as Konrad remains unmarried, yes. And, to pre- 
vent unseemly machinations no candidate may marry within a 
year after he has come into the direct degree of succession. 
There, that's enough of business. You understand?" 

" Neither you, then, nor your brother, could marry within 
a year after your father's death ? " 

" Just so." 

She dabbled her hands in the water, full of solemn thoughts. 

"But — but if you were to marry now and — ^lose him — ^you 
would be the only heir? " 

"Yes, dearest, yes — ^as I said, until Konrad marries, which 
I hope my father will live to see him do." 

"I like to understand things clearly. I must tell aimt 
Mary I" 

" By all means tell aunt Mary. And uncle Tony, too I " 

" Egon, you promised me to like uncle Tony I " 

" All right, dearest darling ; ' Barkis is willing.' " 

" Why Barcas ? He was the father of Hannibal : I don't 
know the story." 

"It's out of Dickens. Your education has been classical, 
Dolly. I thought everybody everywhere had read * David Cop- 

" Aunt Mary didn't like me to read many novels," said Doro- 
thea, humbly. 

" I dare say she was right. Just look at that bit of shabby 
brown town on the mountain, the one with the ruined castle 
above! Doesn't it look, now the sun has got behind it, as if 
it were embossed, on a platter, in bronze. Like a bit of Ben- 
venuto Cellini, by Jove I " 

Dorothea, freshly cognizant of pitfalls, allowed Benvenuto 
Cellini to sink back, imtouched, into the abyss of the unknown. 


A FEW weeks later, as soon as the necessary formalities could 
be complied with, Dorothea Sandring was married to Egon 
Roden in the little German chapel at Lugano. Everybody 
interested in the event was present. Excepting, of course, the 
humble friends at Brodryck and at Rheyna, some of whom per- 
haps cared more about the matter than a couple of important 
relations who figured, gold-laced, in the wedding procession. 

"Nothing in this world ever happens as it ought to," 
declared aunt Emma crossly. How often had she and her sister 
not' imagined Dorothea's marriage festivities at Brodryck I 
" And, now," declared aimt Emma, " they must just sit down 
and marry her anywhere, in the middle of the road." " God 
forgive me," said aimt Emma, " but I can make head nor tail 
of these divine confusions. I like straight lines." 

" God works in arabesques," replied aunt Mary. 

Aunt Emma gave a little grunt. " Well, my dear, you know 
more about Him than I," she said humbly. She devoted her- 
self, with much f ussiness, to endless intricacies of trousseau and 
toilet — for aunt Emma was great upon dress. At home, in 
Brodryck, everybody — the parson's wife, the doctor's wife — 
always consulted her. She studied the illustrated catalogues 
which the big French emporia of everything periodically pour 
across the world. But she never ordered an article from these 
shops, because the people were presumably Papists. 

In the busiest days of preparation, she suddenly realized the 
immense use, the undoubted authority, of Mademoiselle Aure- 
lie Bompard. Mademoiselle Aurelie, unasked, stepped one 
morning into aunt Emma's chaos of fashion-books, selected and 
arranged before aunt Emma's hot cheeks and astonished eyes, 
threw a lot of cheap generalities into the waste paper basket, 
soothed the old lady with bits of autobiographical precedent, and 
finally presented a well-ordered list of names and needs. 

" But these addresses," said aunt Emma> with the paper 
spread before her, " are mostly, I fear, those of Catholic trades- 
men. It is against our Protestant principles ^" 



"Mademoiselle is mistaken/' said Aur61ie demurely. "I 
am a Catholic, but I also have a weakness for principles! I 
have carefully chosen Huguenots. Not that it is difficult : all 
the best shops in Paris are in the hands of Huguenots aiid 

" Indeed, I am heartily glad to hear it," said aimt Emma. 

"Mademoiselle does not object, I imderstand, to Jews?" 
demanded the maid, with a touch of satire about the eyes. 

"N— n — ^no," responded aunt Emma, and began quickly 
perusing the list. 

" * Au petit St. Josephe I ' " she read, and stopped. 

"That is the old sign," declared Aurelie with volubility, 
" — it is a very ancient house — ^before the new religion." 

" The reformation I " corrected aunt Emma severely. " ' Les 
Dames du St. Calvaire' — eh? — distressed gentlewomen, good." 

" It is a Protestant convent," explained Aurelie, from sheer 

" What ? There is no such thing," cried aimt Emma indig- 

At this moment Dorothea entered the room, and Aur61ie 
very nearly gave herself up for lost. "Which address does 
Mademoiselle point to?" she said readily; "Les Montagues 
russes? — ^yes, they are Protestants, or, rather, Kussians — ^the 
Kussian religion, you know. I once lived with a Russian prin- 
cess: she was not a Roman Catholic. She had gilded saints 
in the comers of her rooms and drank vodki." 

" This ! " said aunt Emma, slapping the " Dames du Cal- 
vaire." "This!" 

" Ah, yes, that is Catholic," replied Aurelie innocently. " It 
is the only exception. For why? You can get no Protestant 

" True," interposed Dorothea ; " with us also the Catholic 
provinces are those which produce it." 

" It is like the Romish superstition itself, all odds and ends 
and patchwork ! " cried aimt Emma. 

"Blended in a beautiful design," exclaimed the indignant 
Aurelie, who was devote, 

" Peace ! if I only had time, what with all this trousseau 
business, I should convert you! It is a great pity you don't 
understand Dutch, Aurelie: you could greatly have benefited 
from intercourse with Rebecca. For a person in her station 
of life," continued Emma to Dorothea in Dutch, " Rebecca has 
a very satisfactory amount of religion. You cannot expect such 


persons to rise beyond the rudiments. Vinet and Monod are 
cavaire to the crowd of Rebeccas." 

"I must get to comprehend their gibberish," reflected the 
Frenchwoman. Aloud she said: "I have learnt always to 
understand the languages I lived amongst, with the exception 
of Russian and Chinese." 

"Chinese?" cried both ladies. 

" I lived a year with the * Marquise ' Ping, at the Embassy. 
Poor creature, her husband detested her, because her feet were 
a millimetre longer than those of his sister-in-law." 

" In Christian countries they ought to forbid those feet I " 
cried aunt Emma. 

"What would you have. Mademoiselle? They could no 
longer order them to grow." 

" Well, I suppose we must have the lace," said aunt Emma 
quickly. "What? you have already the patterns? Oh, look 

Dorothea, this is truly exquisite " and soon aunt and niece 

were engrossed in these flimsy delights. Aur^lie shrugged her 
shapely shoulders behind aunt Emma's back. " Is Mademoiselle 
aware," she suggested, " that Monsieur le Comte de Roden- 
Rheyna is arrived this morning ? " The accents lingered with 
the condescending appreciation over the name of the bride- 
groom's uncle. These countryfolks from savage lands — petite 
noblesse de campagne — ^were almost beneath a maid's notice — 
but Count Roden-Rheyna appeared a personage of sufficient 
importance even to her supercilious approval. His mother, the 
bridegroom's grandmother, had been a Princess Stolzenau-Gute- 
lande — ^Altesse Serenissime I 

Certainly, Dorothea was aware that "the Head" had 
arrived an hour ago. Everybody had realized the fact. The 
Lord of Rheyna himself seemed fully conscious of it, as he lay 
stretched on a carmine velvet sofa, in the apartment reserved 
for him at the Hotel du Pare. 

" Ouf I " he said to Egon, who stood before him " on duty." 
"Would you mind pulling off my boot — ^the left — ^unless you 
prefer calling my man ? Yes, it is the gout again. Very annoy- 
ing. My doctor says I must choose between gruel and the gout. 
Slops every day, or the gout twice a year. * Will the gout kill 
me ? ' I asked him. ' No,' says he. Well, the slops would." 

" So you have not yet dismissed Cordillon ? " queried Egon. 

" No, indeed. Cordillon is a master of little savory dishes, 
mint, parsley, all that sort of thing — bouquet. What said Solo- 
mon? Better a dinner of herbs than a stalled ox — didn't he? 


He was quite right. No one, at his age or mine, could digest 
beef au naiureV 

" It was very good of you to come," said Egon. 

" There you are right. It certainly was. But, my dear 
boy, I have done worse things, because I had to." 

The nephew grinned. 

" Of course it was a great nuisance having to travel back 
all the way from Berlin. But the journey to Berlin was inevit- 
able, practically a royal command. Hand me that pocket-hand- 
kerchief I Thank you. Did you see my speech in the Herren- 

" Most certainly : I read it aloud to my father." 

Count Roden-Rheyna made a face. 

" The amiability of my relatives exceeds anything I .had a 
right to expect. Well, I proved to these people that the 
agrarian interest must be protected within limits. Within 
limits: that was the point of my speech. It appears to have 
been very successful. His Majesty was pleased to confer upon 
it the highest commendation he has ever been known to bestow." 

"What did he say?" demanded Egon, with a Prussian's 
eager devotion to his king. 

"He said that he could hardly have put the matter more 
clearly himself. Ring for something to drink, I am worn out. 
Well, Egon, when I am gone — to Abraham's bosom, I mean — 
you will have to make agrarian speeches. Mark my words: 
times are changing : you will have to make them the other way 
round. That'll be just as easy, and quite as . correct I " He 
yawned. "Pull down the blind I" he said. "Thanks." 

" It is by no means sure that the duty will devolve upon me," 
replied Egon uncomfortably. He always winced at his uncle's 
frequent allusions to the succession. 

To his disconcertment, that old gentleman sat up suddenly 
on the sofa, first stared him out of countenance, and then 
laughed till arrested by a cough. 

" Egon, you are a deep one," gurgled the Count. " Do you 
know, I should never have looked for this sort of cunning in 
you: I thought you were simple, like your father. Accept my 
congratulations I All the same, I am a little disappointed in 
you. I admit that it is utterly irrational, but the very sneaky 
sympathy that made me feel at home with Konrad — ^I rather 
regret, somehow, to find it in you. I appreciate intrigue, but 
I thought you were different." 


" I am quite unfit for intrigue," answered Egon. " I should 
make a mess of the simplest manoeuvre " 

"You take me for a blockhead," retorted Count Roden 
angrily. " Do you deem me to be blind ? The first duty of a 
clever schemer, Egon, is to presume that people guess his 
schemes. And do you really imagine that I do not understand 
why, as soon as your father falls ailing, you find it convenient 
to marry ? " He laughed again, rather bitterly. 

" Konrad does not understand either," he added. " Of 
course not. Oh, no." 

Egon stood staring, too astonished to speak. 

"Look here," said his uncle, facing towards him. *'You 
have a perfect right to act as you are doing. It is even very 
sensible of you to select a wife with a fortune, as you are able 
to secure one. I had always fancied, somehow, that you would 
behave like an idiot, and marry for love. Love only, I mean. 
Well, you are a far discreeter young man that I took you for. 
So much the better. Only don't talk rubbish about butter not 
melting in your mouth. You insult me by thinking me the 
simpleton I took you for." He struck his hand impatiently on 
a side table, and his face twitched, as he moved his foot. 

"Your accident has brought you luck, as I always said it 
would. Being a civilian, you are able to marry when you like. 
Poor Konrad has not such license. I must say I think you 
have stolen a march upon him." 

" You must let me say, that I imagined I was proposing to 
a poor girl, who — ^whose position was unfortunate, and whom I 
loved. That I thought of nothing else. You will hardly doubt 
my word, uncle Karl, though you will find it difficult, I fear, to 
remember my explanation. I cannot help it. And nothing 
can rob me of Dorothea." Egon spoke with white calmness, 
checking the tremble in his tones. 

Count Roden curiously eyed his nephew. 

" The naivete of yesterday," he said slowly, " tastes like 
tinned lobster. I have a choice, now, between a — ^will you per- 
mit me to say, between an ass and a fox? Thank you. I now 
prefer the fox? You play your cards well, Egon, but you are 
absurd about hiding your hand. I am frank. I tell you 
honestly, I shall give Konrad the earliest opportunity of marry- 
ing. I think that is only common fairness. I have written 
to him, that he may count upon me for the necessary funds. 
He must have a fair chance. And I do not intend to die for 
a long time. Besides, it is advisable that he should marry. 


He is too fond of love-making. He is not able to distinguish 
between a flirtation and an entanglement. That is the most 
fearful defect I can imagine in a man I " He looked so fright- 
ened that Egon shuddered too. 

"I could understand your estimate of my conduct/' said 
the young man boldly, " if the state of your health were as bad 
as — as " 

" My poor brother's ? Well, it isn't. By no means. There 
you put your finger on the weak point in your whole scheme, 
Egon. You have thought it out well, my son. But Konrad 
will have plenty of time to marry, before you two brethren are 
called upon to draw lots over my grave." He made a grimace. 
" Still, if I were to fall from my horse, as my poor father did, 
you, Egon, within a few months' time, would inevitably be 
Count Roden-Rheyna." 

" Well, I am the eldest I " cried Egon with a flash of temper. 

" Since when has that mattered ? " demanded Count Roden 
haughtily. " My father, as you know very well, was the younger 
son. Understand me, Egon, I deem it quite natural of you to 
leap into wedlock on the eve of your father's demise — only, only, 
somehow, I did not think that sort of computation would have 
entered into your head." 

"It has not entered into my head," replied Egon, and he 
departed without the customary formal dismissal. 

His uncle inamediately called him back. " Your vehemence 
has not convinced me, my dear boy," said Count Roden. 
" Vehemence never convinces educated men." 

" I cannot hope to convince you," answered Egon in the door- 
way. " Is there anything else I can do for you, uncle Karl ? " 

" Yes, certainly. Pull up the blind, please. Thank you. 
Remember this, Egon, for your future speeches, political and 
otherwise. To convince one of the common people, you must 
shout your lies at him : to convince an educated man, you must 

smile them. As for trying to convince anyone of a truth " 

It was his turn to smile. 

"Well?" said Egon. 

" I don't know. I have never heard it done." 

" My God I " cried Egon, and flung forward his lame foot, 
as if he were kicking something on the carpet. 

" Is that the earldom of Rheyna ? " asked his uncle, gazing, 
much amused, at the floor, in the direction of the invisible 
something. " You will tell me next, that you would prefer to 
remain plain Herr von Roden." 


" N"©, I do not say that. Surely it is a painful subject, uncle 
Karl. I do not envy anybody. I am very happy, in spite 
of " 


"My father's illness, and a lot of bothers," answered Egon 

" I understand that you do not envy me," said Count Hoden, 
and cast a look at his own white hair in the glass. 

" There is one thing of yours I shall ask for some day, all 
the same." 

" D , some day you will ask for all I " 

"I shall ask for your groom, Hans Stormer, for a servant, 
I promised him to do so as soon as I settled down." 

"You can have him at once. You know that his wife is 

"Dead I" 

" Egon, what a fool you are I !N"o, really, I beg your pardon. 
But your tone and your look are ridicidous! She died a week 
ago, suddenly, after seven months of marriage. I remember 
your telling me he said he hated women — ^but, by Jove, it 
appears he loved her" 

" Poor Hans ! " said Egon. 

" You can have him at once. Telegraph for him. I am very 
sorry for him also. I am sorry for every man who loves a 
woman more for herself than for him" 

" He would hardly want to be present at a wedding I " 

"Perhaps not. He need not be present." Count Roden 
yawned. "How changeful the sun is in these parts. Would 
you very much mind once more pidling down the blind? 
Thanks. I shall lunch with you all. Meanwhile, present my 
respects to your bride." 

Egon found her amongst the laces, from which he extracted 
her, despite aunt Emma's appeals. 

" Egon, what has happened ? " 

" Hans's wife is dead I " 

She^ walked beside him in the hotel garden. "I am very 
sorry," *she said. 

" How can you be sorry ? You don't know him. Oh, Doro- 
thea, his wife is dead ! " They sat down by a little fountain. 
Presently, to divert his thoughts, she began to speak of their 
preparations for the wedding. 

But at that moment she hurt him, all unconsciously — illogi- 
cally, for had he not denied her claim to share his sorrow? He 


answered abstractedly : his thoiights were with the man yonder, 
in the empty cottage, broken-hearted. His sullen look was fixed 
upon the little splashing fountain. So the water goes on fall- 
ing, falling ever, the monotonous flow of human tears before 
the face of God. 

"Shall we walk back?" suggested Dorothea at length. 
Doubtless, he had had some trouble with the terrible uncle, 
whose advent she dreaded. She was unable to fathom his 
affection for this servant, who had hardly been mentioned 
between them, the friend and companion of a youth she had 
not shared. Lovers, after all, are but yesterday acquaintances, 
that have nothing in common but a future which never comes 

"I wanted to show you this," said Dorothea. She had 
brought a small case from her room into the little salon : 

"My father sent it from Milan," she lidded. "He writes 
that he will come over for the day." She lifted the white 
chamois-leather lid of the case, and a magnificent diamond 
bracelet lay revealed in the sunlight. 

They looked at each other. " It represents a small fortune," 
said Egon. 

" He writes so kindly I He regrets that it isn't a necklace, 
he says." 

Again they looked at each other. Little as they knew of 
their hearts — still less of their minds — they had never yet, in 
their brief engagement, more f tdly understood each other's 
thoughts. Each was considering, with vexation, that this jewel 
had been gained at the tables. Each was yearning to put it 
away, and never touch it again. 

" It is very good of your father,^^ said Egon at last. " You 
must write and thank him, in my name also, for sending you 
so splendid a present." 

A, grateful flush rose slightly about her temples. She closed 
down the lid with a snap, and stood looking out at the moun- 
tains. " When you and I are married " — she said. 


" We shall be very happy." 

He laughed. "Are you quite sure of that? "he asked 

"Quite sure. I trust in your goodness. I know that, in 
all things, you will always be absolutely noble and upright and 


He pressed her to his side. "Dearest, you are sweet and 
dear beyond words," he said, "but ^" 

"What, Egon?" 

"That is hardly fair." Before either cotdd utter another 
word, aunt Emma had entered the room. 

" My young husband has not yet come in from his walk ! " 
she cried triumphantly, " and his young wife is crying out her 
eyes in the garden. The idiot ! " ' 

" Poor thing ! " said Egon and Dorothea, both at once. 

"Poor thing, indeed!" mimicked aunt Emma. "Promise 
me, Dorothea, that you will never cry over anything Egon may 

" Except die ! " exclaimed Egon. 

Dorothea shuddered from head to foot. 

" You might be original," grunted aunt Emma. " That was 
stolen from Louis Quatorze." 

" A good husband," laughed Egon. 

Dorothea turned quickly. "Eor Heaven's sake let us talk 
of something else," she said. 

On the very morning of the wedding, as Dorothea stood 
waiting in her bridal garments. Colonel Sandring made his 
appearance. His frock-coat was perfect; his gardenia with- 
out a spot. He had not been alone with his daughter since the 
morning of the earthquake, and reminiscences of that morn- 
ing arose in the minds of both. 

"I arrived at six o'clock, by the night train," said the 
Colonel calmly. "Yes, I am in admirable health, Dolly, but 
I did not feel quite equal to sentimental tete-d-tetes with those 
dear ladies, your aunts. Or to a business tete-d'tete with uncle 

She showed him his bracelet upon her arm. 

" I wish it had been a necklace," said the Colonel promptly. 
He would have said that, if awakened out of sleep. 

" But I have another present for you," he added. 

Dorothea tried not to look alarmed. 

"Which perhaps you will like still better." 

Dorothea tried harder. 

"To-morrow I marry, at Milan, the lady you know as 
Madame de Barvielle." 

Dorothea was silent. 

" The Baroness Blanche de Barvielle de Fleuryse," continued 
th^ Colonel boldly. " Madame de Fleuryse." 


"Well? I thought you would come and pat my head and 
say 'Good boyi'" cried the Colonel. Could a flutter disturb 
the breast that had never known fear? 

" I am very glad," said Dorothea slowly. 

"You hardly look it." 

"Yes, I am very glad," said Dorothea, and the slow words 
came gradually faster, as they do when we are eagerly convinc- 
ing ourselves while we speak. " It is right. It is good. I am 

glad, father. I should like to congratulate Madame de 


"Congratulate me first," laughed the Colonel. "Perhaps 
that had better suffice. The lady will be in church, in a dark 
corner where no one will observe her; she was anxious to see 
you made happy for ever." The Colonel sighed. 

" Father," said Dorothea, blushing crimson, " we have spoken 
of money sometimes. I come of age to-day by my marriage. 
Perhaps we could make some arrangement, if you were in need 
of money?" 

" You dear girl I " The Colonel ran forward with out- 
stretched arms, but checked himself in front of this cloud of 
gauze and lace. "I have plenty of money just now," he said, 
" but you are the dearest girl in all the world." 

"I thought, perhaps, if you preferred a larger fixed in- 
come " continued Dorothea timidly. "Isn't a thousand a 

year very little for married people ? I am sure Egon would 
be glad '' 

" Stop I " interrupted Sandring, haughtily. " Let us speak 
the plain truth, Dolly. I cannot accept charity, though I 
should have once liked a loan, from your husband. * Besides, 
it would be useless. You must leave me to my roving instincts, 
dear. I couldn't settle down in a suburban villa — say Toot- 
ing or Denmark Hill! You don't understand — but I under- 
stand you perfectly. It's no use, dear. I must have my 
changes of scene, and my amusements. I must gamble " 

Such a look of horror came into Dorothea's eyes! 

-gambol about the fields, like a naughty, elderly kid," 

continued the Colonel adroitly. "You can't make a purring, 

milk-and-water cat out of a frisky young goat." 

The entrance of the bridegroom prevented further reply. 

" What ! Not in uniform? Not even your decorations ! " cried 

the astonished German. 

"Pooh! No. I dislike all that sort of thing." 

" Still, with these military relations of ours, it might have 


been advisable/' said Egon reflectively. "A uniform always 
looks well," — and his glance sank down his own black sleeve. 

" My luggage is at the station ; I'll bedizen myself, if you 
like," suggested the good-natured Colonel. "I can do it, I 
suppose, if I look sharp." 

" Stay one minute I " interposed Dorothea. " Egon, my 
father — ^I am sure you will be very glad to hear it — ^has just 
announced to me his marriage with Madame de Barvielle de 

Egon endeavored to look more gratification than he found 
it quite possible to express. 

" Madame is here. She will be present in church. Father, 
I hope " — ^with a sudden burst of fervor — " we shall hold a re- 
ception in the vestry. You must bring her there to congratu- 
late me."' 

" No, no, that is not necessary," began the Colonel hurriedly. 
Egon stood aside, a slight frown between his eyes. But the 
Colonel did not look in his direction. 

" Father, I want you very especially to do it. Don't you 
see, it will get over a lot of bother for you at once!" Doro- 
thea eagerly pressed the point. She was not to be outdone in 
generosity. Present for present upon these wedding days! 

" She believes he is marrying chiefly for her sake," reflected 
Egon. "And she doesn't really understand anything about 
Blanche de Fleuryse, excepting that she thinks the couple have 
delayed — ^most improperly — ^the date of the ceremony ! " 

"Nobody ever says *no' to a bride," persisted Dorothea. 

The Colonel smiled awkwardly. 

She turned to Egon. " Certainly not the bridegroom ! " she 
exclaimed. " Come, Egon, help me to convince him I " 

What could the bridegroom do ? " Yes, yes," he said. " Do 
as Dorothea advises. Colonel I " 

So it came about that this great thing happened in the 
vestry, amongst all the flowers and the uniforms, the light 
dresses, the laughter and the tears. Dorothea was standing 
with her husband in the place of honor; the troubled aunts 
were near her; she was speaking with Egon's magnificent, 
stupid cousin, the Duke of Stolzenau-Gutelande, who stam- 
mers, as everyone knows, and cannot find his words — a brilliant 
assemblage was gathered around them, small, of course, but just 
the people one would expect to find here. 

Then Colonel Sandring, who had disappeared for a moment. 


came forward. He wore a handsome military imiform; his 
breast was constellated with orders. And the Baroness Blanche 
de Fleuryse, in cream-colored velvet, rested her finger-tips on 
the curve of his sleeve. 

"Ah, how do you do. Baroness ?*' exclaimed Dorothea. 
" Duke, this is Madame de Fleuryse, who is about to marry my 

The words fell like a bomb in a circle of statues. !N"obody 
spoke. Yet the statues, one felt, were living statues, all eyes 
and ears, in the sudden hush. 

"Very hap — ^pap — ^pappy," said the calf -faced Duke. 

Madame de Fleuryse, as usual, was mistress of the situation 
in which she found herself. "I see your Highness does not 
remember me," she spake ; " we have met in Paris at the house 
of my cousin, the Count di Casa Prof onda I " 

" The Cow — cow — cut — cut — cut — ," said the Duke. 

Dorothea looked around her, nervous but triumphant. Her 
success, however painful, was pleasing. Let righteousness flow 
forth as an unending stream I 

Aunt Emma was heard at this moment, to gasp. It was 
not a kindly gasp. 

But Count Roden-Rheyna pushed forward. Whatever his 
faults might be, he possessed to the full their complimentary 
virtues. He could not endure awkwardness anywhere, nor 
cotdd he bear — ^begad! — to see a fine woman in distress. 

" Baroness," he said, with a big, big B, and the clang of 
his voice rose brazen, "How is Count di Casa Prof onda? I 
was with my cousin Stolzenau at the time." 

Emma always maintains that he said " Who is," but this is 
a little piece of feminine ill-nature, incompatible, besides, with 
the French language. 

"Quite well, I believe," answered the Baroness gratefully. 
"Now, Dorothea," — the bridegroom's teeth clashed — ^"I must 
go. We shall not soon meet again. From the bottom of my 
heart I wish you all happiness." 

Dorothea bent forward her pure face, in her white, and her 
orange blossoms, and all the sweet splendor of sacrifice. " Kiss 
me," she said. 


It has been said that the love which survives a honeymoon 
is eternal. 

Like most utterances of human wisdom, this axiom can be 
proved either true or false, according as the significance varies, 
which we ascribe to the terms it contains. Truth, in fact, like 
honesty and all the virtues, is a matter of definitions, just as 
philosophy is a framework of terms misplaced. Anybody can 
pull out one of the timbers at the bottom, but it crumbles to 
pieces as he gazes at it in his hands. Anybody can maintain 
the exact opposite of what anybody else has just contended, and 
probably both are right. For both mean the same thing. 

Thus, for instance, when Justus von Roden died at Lugano 
— ^but that is not yet — ^the parson came and said he was alive. 
Count Roden-Rheyna agreed with the parson, nodding his head 
and stroking his own warm hands, as he softly said, " True.'' 
And the little Generalin also agreed with the parson, casting 
herself down, in silent agony, by the earthly remains of what 
had made earth seem heaven. 

Thus, equally, when married people begin to quarrel, they 
call each other "My love." And thus when we reiterate that 
love is eternal, none of us know what " eternal " is, and we all 
mean something different by "love." With most couples the 
silver is electro-plate, warranted to wear, and when it succumbs 
to early rubbing, they take up the dull lead and contentedly 
finish their repast. Very few — tiresome — ^people complain, and 
then there is a vulgar shindy. The cautious remember their 
children. The sensible do not want "love." The sensitive 
want too much. Few get what they desire, especially if they 
take it. The happy never realize any need at all. And some 
few favored ones, while all the talk is going on, the running 
to and fro, the screaming, the laughter and the tumbles — in 
one word the Blind Man's Buff with Cupid — sit silent in 
comers, look deep into each other's eyes, and understand. 

But, then, with such as these the game is over. The blind 
god has caught them, and spoken their names. 

Egon and Dorothea von Roden, when first called into the 


circle, knew nothing of the rule by which you play. The rule, 
of course, is that there is none. You skip about, and shriek, 
and laugh, and the blindman catches you. Sometimes he only 
pretends, and sometimes he lets you go again. Egon and Doro- 
thea were very pleased to marry. They knew little of each 
other's characters or inclinations; what little they knew they 
thought exceedingly fine. They liked each other's faces. In 
fact, they were " in love." 

They remained in love all through their Italian honeymoon. 
And so, to revert to the words at the opening of this chapter, 
there was every chance that they would continue to like each 
other's faces, and admire each other's characters, for some con- 
siderable time. 

At the very first an immense disappointment had befallen 
Egon of which Dorothea was absolutely unable to form the 
slightest conception. In fact, the difficulty to her was non- 
existent. She saw through a stone wall. 

In the carriage which took them to the station he had flung 
himself forward, "My beauty! My own!" 

Dorothea shrank back. "Don't, Egon," she said softly. 
" You must never kiss me like that again." 

"You see how mistaken you were to say that you trusted 
my goodness ! " He spoke bitterly. She had hurt him with a 
lasting hurt : he instinctively felt that the wound would fester. 
It was true, as he had told aunt Mary, that the page of his 
passions was white. Dorothea's remained closed. 

So a stone wall rose between them. Dorothea looked through 
It, smiling happily. 

They wandered south as far as Florence, and there they 
lingered long. There was no reason, said the doctors, to take 
up their residence within hail of the General. Like all con- 
sumptive patients, the latter might survive for many months; 
also, he might bleed to death, before he could summon an 
attendant. The aunts and uncle Tony, of course, returned to 
Brodryck, with the swallows. Aunt Emma objected to the swal- 
lows. She looked round Dorothea's little upstairs boudoir. 
" There are no birds in last year's nests," she quoted. And cer- 
tainly, it cannot be denied, that to those who are homeless or 
who feel forsaken, the swallows, of all birds, seem to exaggerate 
the publicity they give to their domestic establishment. There 
is something feminine about the swallows' noisy home-bringing 
of trifles. Only, of course, unlike the human housekeeper, the 
birds look after their own bills. 


To Egon von Eoden the journey into Italy was in itself 
almost as epoch-making a life-event as the entrance into the 
wedded state. He was no art-smatterer, no attitudinizer in 
Soul. Of modem beauty-fads, post-Raffaelite, pre-Raffaelitism 
(reverted, inverted, perverted), incoherent symbolism, sestheti- 
cism, spindly furniture or " antique " design — of all these forms 
of advertisement he had never heard. But he had been brought 
up, as we know, on the Goethe love of natural beauty in every 
human development, the pure milk and strong meat of art. To 
him, then, in a small way, as to the great master above him, 
the Italian journey came as something of a pilgrimage to 
shrines. He talked so little of these matters, so naturally of 
hotels, and fellow-travellers and daily incidents, the simple 
tittle-tattle of an unaffected man, that his new companion 
formed no idea of the interests hidden deepest in his heart. 
With our nearest and dearest we especially avoid those subjects 
on which their sympathy is not previously assured to us. When 
the pair had approached Florence, in the mists of sunrise, Egon, 
looking forth upon the russet city, had broken his unconscious 
reserve for once in a cry that, like all cries of emotion, repeated, 
falls flat: 

"The city of Dante!" 

" Yes," said Dorothea. " Have you got the tickets ? " 

For she knew about Dante. 

"Alighieri, Dante, dit le Dante, celebre poete italien, n6 k 
Florence 12 — (forgotten), mort a Ravenna, 13 — (forgotten). 
Dans son poeme principal, la * Comedie Divine,' il envisagea 
I'univers entier du point de vue, actuellement bien demode, de 
la philosophic de son temps et fit surtout opposition k la 
tyrannic corrompue des papes et des grands seigneurs italiens 
contemporains." Mort. Dead. 

It was in Florence, then, where they stayed on during the 
summer, going up to Fiesole for the heat and coming down 
again, that they first realized how it is possible for lovers to 
misunderstand one another without knowing it. Our brain- 
life is surely the most elusive of shows. There are as many 
things that we realize and never know as there are things that 
we know and never realize. 

They misunderstood each other, then. !N"ot in those trivial 
fallings-out which season too much sweetness, like a spoonful 
of brandy stirred into cream, not in those swift concussions of 
thought, which strike sparks of electricity on dullness, or those 
sudden little storm-clouds of sentiment which break a prismatic 


rainbow of endeannents over the dull grey of everyday approval 
— not in these, but in the permanent divergence of interests, 
that sail away serenely, like boats on the river, unsuspecting 
what becomes of companions who may or may not have got 
stuck in some shallows of their own. Stay, conscience speaks: 
I must be good. You row back against the current, you stop 
beside the dawdler, not offering to help, wondering why you 
are there, for you know that he prefers the soft mud by the 
river bank. All the time that you are doing your duty your 
eyes gaze adrift, and he sees it, to the widening flow of the 
river, your soul is away over yonder, in the middle of the stream. 

" The Pitti again ? More Madonnas ? " said Dorothea laugh- 

Egon laughed too. " Yes, more Madonnas. Or, rather, the 
old ones over again." 

" You must know them by heart by this time. Fm sure I 

"No answer. 

"And most of them are ugly, if you come to think of it. 
They are not at all like my idea of what the Virgin must have 

"They are like the painter's," said Egon. 

" Oh, Egon, how can you say that, when you know that they 
are mostly the portraits of the painters' " She stopped. 

" I cannot understand, Dorothea, that you do not care more 
about painting. Why, you draw in water-color yourself." 

She turned to him. "I not care for painting? I love it. 
But I think one can tire of Madonnas. Toujours perdrix." 

" But there are thousands of other pictures, not Madonnas. 
When we went to see that beautiful crucifixion of Perugino's 
last Monday you wanted to come away." 

" Ah, you have not yet forgiven me that ! How can you be 
so unforgiving, Egon? I am sure if you did anything unkind 
to me, I should forgive you at once. I could not go to sleep 
with an unkind thought of you." 

" My darling, there is nothing to forgive. I only mentioned 
the fact to prove that you didn't care for pictures." 

" And it wasn't even unkind of me, not in any way. When 
I said, ' Shall we go ? ' I thought you had had quite enough of 
it. But it is unkind of you to say that I don't like pictures, 
when you also say that you love them, for it sounds like mark- 
ing a want of sympathy between us when we agree in every- 
thing, Egon." 


" We do, dearest : I know we do. And in little things, when 
we differ, you always give up your own way. Why, at dinner, 
I darn't say I like anything, because you want to order it ever 

She glanced up at him quickly. " You are laughing at me I 
About the macaroni," she said. 

"Laughing at you? No, by Jove!" She looked so charm- 
ing, in her partly pleased alarm, another young husband would 
have caught his wife to his breast and kissed her. Egon Koden 
was like other young husbands, yet he refrained. 

" I will go and put on my hat," she said. 

He seized her hand at the door. " Better stop at home this 
morning. It is going to pour." 

" Since when was I afraid of rain ? You only said that 
because you think I don't want to accompany you." 

"Well, Dorothea, 'tis no use pretending. I think you love 
painting, but my study of pictures bores you." 

"Bores me is not the word. But many of these pictures 
here repel me ; I cannot bear to look at them. Now, the cruci- 
fixion you said was beautiful, it seemed terrible to me. Think 
what it means: the crucifixion I Egon, dear, as you say, 'tis 
no use pretending — ^not between us, not between us. The sacred 
pictures, the holiest subjects — ^they are just asterisks in Baede- 
ker, stared at, approved, disapproved of, dreadful to seel The 
Christ-pictures, dear, they are the Son of God, the Saviour! 
Look at the. horrible, bogey Christs of Cimabue and the Byzan- 
tines, the smug, good-looking Christs of Kaffaelle and Sodoma 
— ^think, dear, these are supposed to represent the Redeemer! 
When I realize that — and I cannot forget it — ^I want to hurry 
away. The crucifixion — ^think! — Christ dying for us! And 
there it is, all blue and green, with a dreadful face, pulled down, 
like a, like a — oh, I dar^ not say it ! — and people staring at it, 
everywhere, peeping through those little funnels, pointing, 
laughing — ^yes, there is always some fearful person in a check- 
suit laughing at something in the picture and pointing. And 
there is somebody, always, trying to kodak it — ^kodak the cruci- 
fixion ! " She stopped, red-hot, gasping for breath. " Oh, say 
you understand ! " 

" I understand," he answered, wishing he did not. He knew 
that henceforth, if he brought her an exquisite rose — say an 
Ebenezer Gibbons — ^he would read in her grateful eyes the un- 
spoken suggestion : " Oh, what a ridiculous name ! " 


" Couldn't you forget the people around you," he said, " and 
look at the Christ alone ! " 

But that was oil upon flames. " Oh, you haven't under- 
stood ! " she cried in tones of the deepest disappointment. " I 
think the Christs are the most terrible of all! I have never 
seen a picture of Jesus that I did not at once wish to forget ! " 

He hesitated. And she told herself with poignant anguish 
that he would have felt as she did, if only he had loved as she. 

He sat down again. He had not the slightest desire to see 
any pictures that morning. "I must write to uncle Tony, 
before I go, about some business," he said, resolved to spread 
his correspondence .over the interval till luncheon. 

She had put her hand fondly against his neck. *'I am so 
glad you do my business nowadays," she said. " Give my love 
to them all at the end of your letter." 

"I sometimes believe that your heart is in Brodryck, not 
in Florence I" he cried. 

"No," she answered, "my heart is ^ere." Her hand lay 
upon his shoulder. 

They were very happy that evening at the theatre over an 
Italian version of " The Merchant of Venice." Neither of 
them knew much Italian, but that hardly matters with so well- 
known a play. The theatre was a new and increasing delight 
to Dorothea: tragedy, comedy, even farce, she enjoyed with 
almost equal fervor. But Egon found himself in the awkward 
predicament of having to find out the contents of a piece before 
he could venture to take his wife there. For had she not 
created a disturbance by rising from her stall and quitting the 
theatre in the midst of that roaring Palais Royal indecency, 
"La Femme a Papa"? 

Once they were outside, and his masculine false shame had 
subsided, he was proud of her for leaving, and he told her so. 
Still, nbbody else got up. Just before them a grey-headed old 
clergyman and his wife had sat shouting with laughter at jokes 
they could not catch. 

" Of course, if I had had an idea what it was like, I should 
never have gone," stuttered poor Egon. " Somebody told me 
to take you there, somebody I thought I could trust." 

The " somebody " was uncle Karl, whose theory anent young 
married women may be given in his own words : " Scrape off 
all the whitewash. And then whitewash over again." 

"Let us go, then," said Egon, "to the little opera, where 
they give all their own Italian music — ^you will see it is delight- 


f ul : they could dream every note, yet they sing with a * brio ' I 
The audience joins — ^admirably — in the chorus! One slur — 
they detect it immediately and they hiss the offender off the 
stage. You remember that happened, years ago, to the greatest 
of divas : she will never sing in Italy again I " 

Dorothea accompanied him to these cheerful performances 
of Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti. But they did not stir her blood. 
A singer himself, he followed every technical detail with 
interest, carried away by the sympathy between audience and 
performer, so noticeable amongst the emotional and musical 
Italians — delighted, as if he himself had achieved it, with every 
artistic success. She did her very best to share his enjoyment. 
But opera seemed to her, after all, a conventional form of 
amusement, too unreal to come within the bounds of legitimate 
fancy. Art, had said somebody, was the ordered presentation 
of life. When the chorus, wide-mouthed and immovable, had 
stood shouting for five minutes: 

** The Count is drowning : let us fly to save him I" 
Dorothea, lying back in her '' poltrona," felt that the limits of 
rational presentation had been passed. 

^ He sings beautifully," she said of the choked but still vocal 
noble. She bent forward, trying hard not to be too practical, 
to forget common-sense and Brodryck. "I like his voice ex- 
ceedingly, Egon, but it isn't half as beautiful as yours." 

**Why don't you sing at home," she ventured to suggest. 
"You hardly ever sing to me now. I would just as lief — 
far liefer — stay quietly at home and hear you sing, 'Ich 
wollt' meine Liebe ergosse sich,' or, better still, * Ich weiss, dass 
mein Erloser lebt.' " ' 

** A fellow can't sing in an hotel," replied Egon. 

She opened her eyes wide. "Why, Egon, how absurd of 
you! You sing ten times better than most of these pro- 

** That's your partiality," replied Egon. He was uncom- 
fortable. " Of course I know Fve a good voice," he added, " but 
I don't like to sing in an hotel. People listen." Then she 
understood that he shrank from the notoriety which his splen- 
did singing brought him amongst strangers. Once some neigh- 
bors had gathered in the passage. A lady had accosted him 
and proposed that he should perform in the hotel sitting-room. 
Dorothea did not ask him again. ^ When we get home to our 
own belongings, I will sing till you tell me to stop," he said. 

Meanwhile they read, in their quieter evenings, books of the 


Italian renascence, " Romola,'' for instance, and one or two bits 
of Boccaccio. 

Dorothea, fascinated by the story of Savonarola, felt especi- 
ally drawn to San Marco, where she soon succumbed to the 
charm of the angels of Fra Angelico. 

" It is the beatific vision,'' she thought, standing, awe-struck, 
with Egon, before one of these vistas of carolling children ; but 
she did not utter the words, afraid of his superior knowledge, 
unwilling to say something wrong. 

"You enjoy Fra Angelico, dearest?" spake Egon, with 
measured satisfaction. 

"Yes, Egon." 

More angels — a long corridor with more angels — a couple 
of cells with more angels — ^then, a man's irresistible impulse to 
help his wife on: 

" You don't find them, with all their beauty, just a little 
insipid sometimes ? " 

"I don't know. One feels that he painted them upon his 

Egon made no reply. He had stopped by one of the numer- 
ous copyists who, all over picture galleries, teach appre- 
ciation by contrast. Also, they guide the blind to the pictures 
you have got to have seen when you come out. 

" That is very well done," he said softly, in German. 

The energetic middle-aged lady, who was reproducing a 
violet seraph, presumably did not hear. 

Von Roden fell back a step. "Would you like me to buy 
you that?" he whispered. "If you admire it I should very 
much enjoy giving it you." 

" Perhaps it is dreadfully dear," said Dorothea. 

" Hardly likely. Poor thing, look at her ragged skirt. And 
she paints well, too. Poor thing I " 

The grey-haired signora, scenting a possible customer — ^alas 
that so many possibles should go to the making of one improb- 
able ! — ^looked round, and answering in fluent French the young 
man's courteous greeting, soon proffered her dingy card. 

" How long do you take over a work like this ? " demanded 
Dorothea, after some desultory talk. 

Madame perhaps a little exaggerated in her reply. 

" I wish I could paint like you," said Dorothea. 

But madame gave lessons. Why not ? " There are so many 
competitors ! " sighed madame, " and, alas I nowadays, with the 
excellent schools, so many paint well. One ought to be thank- 


f ul for that, I suppose," she laughed, " and true, there is always 
the comfort of plenty who perpetrate monstrosities. But these 
also must live. Many tourists prefer the monstrosities — God is 
merciful! — ^these are brighter in color, more life-like, they call 
it. Ah, monsieur, the world would be perfect if only all of us 
had a little more room to breathe! If I could arrange matters 
all the clever people should be poor, all the rich people stupid 
— thus would there be an immense law of natural balance — am 
I not right? The poor artist like myself should paint well; 
the rich ladies, like madame, should paint — ^poorly." 

" Well, things very often are like that," comforted Egon. 

She looked round at him quickly, at them both. " Not that 
madame is an artist," she said, "You are." 

"Why? What on earth makes you say so?" 

" It sees itself. Ca se voit." 

"But you are mistaken. I don't even draw," cried Egon, 

The nervous old lady flung an impatient dash across her 
palette. " I do not mean that you paint ! " she exclaimed, " but 
you have the artistic temperament — the artistic cut and ex- 
pression of face! Yes, though you look like a Prussian officer 
also, it is unmistakable. I see it in the people who pass through 
all day long, before they say a word about the pictures. Here, 
into this little cell, they come streaming all day long, in and 
out again, the oxen, the asses, the sheep. They stare, they 
grunt, they hee-haw : some of them only bleat. Now and then 
there comes one with eyes that look and lips that say little. In 
the entrance, already I mark him. There is nothing wonderful 
about him. Very probably he is not cleverer or better than 
other men. Sometimes he is very red and fat and plain. Often 
he is shockingly clothed" — she laughed merrily— "but I note 
him. I say, 'Thou art of those who love the beautiful, and 
who feel it.' That is all." 

" I like that," said Egon. 

"Of course you do," cried Dorothea, laughing merrily in 
her turn. 

" Once there came one with the face of a tormented god," 
continued the old paintress, and her voice fell. " He came in 
through yonder little door, and I stood up and did him obeis- 
ance. He did not observe me. Among the sheep and the asses 
he passed as a winged Pegasus. That was not a painter at 
all: it was a poet. It was No, I will keep my secret. 


And I? I sit here and paint a violet seraph. I paint him 
again and again." 

She splashed a few strokes of the brush on the angel's robe. 

" When the good God comes for me and takes me to heaven," 
she sighed, " I shall ask Him for this, my particular angel. I 
shall not feel lonely then, and I have always been lonely on 
earth. Yonder, in the blessed meadows, there is no marrying 
or giving in marriage, but the dear God will understand, I am 
sure, that I have made this sweet, mild-faced angel more especi- 
ally my own." 

"I should very much like to buy this picture, if you will 
let me," said Egon. 

"Thank you," she said quietly, "I must finish it. I shall 
do my very best." Once more she turned and looked at them, 
as they were moving away. " I call him Giovanni," she said. 
Then, as if obviating a question which "would probably never 
have been put : " Not San Giovanni, the Apostle, of course. But 
amongst the angels, surely, as on earth, the great saints must 
have many little god-children. My Giovanni has, then, as pat- 
ron, the Apostle of Love." 

On the way home Dorothea was silent, busy with her 
thoughts. Egon fancied her extravagantly impressed by the 
religious element in Era Angelico's painting. He made great 
fun of his own " artistic temperament " as discovered by the 
signora — ^more likely a signorina; wondered in which part of 
him she had seen it; hoped it wasn't in his clothes; begged 
Dorothea to help him find out, and stopped in front of a shop 
mirror to study his hat. 

"Xo, no, you needn't laugh; it is true," said Dorothea, 

The tone of her voice struck him. " My dear child, do you 
mean to say you donH know what she saw it in? In my com- 
mendation of her painting, of course! She heard what I said 
to you. That was sufficient." 

But Dorothea seemed unconvinced. IText morning — Egon 
having gone alone to the Accademia delle belle Arte — she sallied 
forth with the air of an innocent offender and hurried along 
the dark sides of the streets till she reached the church of Santa 
Croce. There she passed jerkily down the aisle and into the 
chapels, turning right and left, twisting back again, looking 
for something, eagerly consulting a thin little pale-paper book. 
At last she found an imposing monument, among many, which 
seemed to afford her satisfaction. Standing in front of it, she 


read from the booklet, with frequent glances at the drapery of 
the figure on the tomb. Then she abandoned herself to still 
closer inspection of the marble laces that drooped around it. 
Once or twice she referred to the page she had been reading, 
and nodded with intelligent approval at the tomb. Presently 
her search recommenced, more laborious this time, more pains- 
taking. She himted all over the worn pavement of the church. 
Once she sat down in despair, and stared around her. She 
wished she had brought Baedeker, which she could have done 
now that Egon was not with her. She by no means shared his 
scorn of the useful guide-book : on the contrary, she systemati- 
cally studied it. " You dam't approve of anything that Baede- 
ker hasn't asterisked," declared Egon. " He builds too low who 
builds beneath the stars I " She could not ask one of the teas- 
ing ciceroni, for, provokingly, she had come without her purse. 

However, there came a moment when she seemed almost 
assured. She sank down by a much-effaced slab in the pave- 
ment, bearing some faint presentation of a human figure with 
illegible inscriptions. She studied this dusty ruin very closely, 
with careful allusion to her pamphlet, sitting huddled beside 
the stone. Her air of concentration deepened, as did also the 
puckers of perplexity all over her fresh young face. 

" Dorothea, you shouldn't sit on the stones like that I What- 
ever are you doing ? " 

She started violently: her angry eyes caught Egon's. 

"Don't! Go away. You are spying on me," she said. 

« Why, I hadn't the faintest idea you were here. I looked 
in to see what Muther means, when he says — ^never, mind, come 
off the stones. I'll go away fast enough, if you like." 

" No, you may stay. It's no good," said Dorothea, miserably 
penitent. "I didn't mean to be rude, Egon" — ^her lips 
trembled. "Only — ^I may as well tell you, for I can't bear 
secrets — ^Mr. Huskin says, if you can see the difference between 
the drapery on C. Marsuppini's tomb and the folds on Galileo's 
grandfather's, then you've got the artistic soul or eye, or some- 
thing — and if you can't, you haven't, so I thought I'd try. You 
see, I never had any chance at Brodryck. And I've been try- 
ing my very hardest, and I thought I knew what he meant about 
the Marsuppini laces, but — ^but I'm afraid I can't really see 
anything at all ! " 

She had risen : her head sank on his breast, towards the slab 
at her feet. , 

" Don't laugh," she said : but nothing was further from her 


husband's intentions. He came and stood beside her, drew 
the little book from her grasp and scornfully thrust it into 
his pocket. 

" This same writer declares," he said, " that, if you can't see 
a particularly obscure little, half -faded fresco, which he names, 
is by Giotto, you had far better take the next train back to 
London and become a cheesemonger, Nowadays people are 
pretty well agreed that it isn't by Giotto." 

"You don't quote correctly, but it comes to that, more or 
less," admitted Dorothea, brightening. 

"Of course, if yours is a later edition, you've got a foot- 
note saying that the text is nonsense. All the new editions 
have those, on every page. The text is always original: only 
the foot-note reproduces other people's opinion." Suddenly 
he burst out laughing. " Why, you haven't even got the right 
tombstone," he said. " This isn't Galileo's grandfather at all," 
Dorothea, in spite of herself, joined him. "Not that it mat- 
ters a bit," continued Egon. " Come along, dear. The carving 
is fine, as I'll show you some other day." 

" I did see about the marble lace being bad," protested Doro- 
thea, " but then everybody is bound to see that at once I " 

" Well, nothing is more facile than this system of divination 
— all or nothing. You go and look and you say : " Yes, I see,' 
so, of course, you understand you are one of the elect. The 
thicker fool you, the sooner you feel it: no wonder that sort 
of ranter has an enormous following. It looks eclectic, Doro- 
thea, and it's just popular revival religion, the Salvation Army, 
getting converted : only say that you're saved ! Mr. John Rus- 
kin, as leader of a sect, is a sort of art-General Booth ! " 

" What a lot of things you know," said Dorothea humbly. 

" That's a nasty one I " he cried cheerfully. " But of course, 
I've heard a great deal from my father. He always used to 
take us children for long walks on Sunday, and talk to us all 
the while." 

" I never had any one to talk to me. I love the aunts. But 
they didn't exactly talk." 

"When it rained, we would go to the museum. And, you 
see, there were always father's three glorious pictures at home. 
I wish you could see those, Dorothea. I think we all owe those 
pictures more happiness than we owe to anything else. Yet, I 
don't know " — ^his voice lightened — ^^ one owes such an immense 
lot of happiness to all sorts of things all day long." 

" I have had happiness enough, as much as I could bear. 


without pictures," said Dorothea contentedly. She checked all 
the suggestions of development that were rising in his mind — 
methodical beginnings, study in common, perhaps even the read- 
ing of Mutherl 

"Just so," he said. 

" Madame ne sait pas s'y prendre," says Mademoiselle Aure- 
lie Bompard. "She is charming, she is good, she is sweet, 
and I love her. Seldom have I thus loved my mistresses, and 
yet I am a * nature attachante.' But all the virtues are no use 
with a man : he presupposes them. What a man wants is being 
actively pleased. A woman must please a man not by being 
herself, but by being his. Bah, all men are sel£sh, the best 
most, because they do not know it. Great sacrifices only are 
the part of a man: never have I known one that was capable 
of small ones — ^but of women they expect constant little aban- 
donments that they cannot understand to be a sacrifice at all I " 

"Madame, then, is selfish?" 

" Selfish ? — ^like the blessed Madonna. She would go through 
the fire for monsieur! Poor dear, she will probably have to! 
Selfish ! Bah, it is no use talking to those who are too stupid 
to understand ! " 

Mademoiselle Aurelie returned to her brushing of dresses. 
" Poor darling, I will do for thee what I can," she said. And 
indeed more fully than Dorothea ever dreamed did she prove 
herself, as the Colonel had foretold, a treasure. Unconsciously, 
by discreet little suggestions, selections, combinations, she 
taught the unformed country girl what to wear, and how to 
wear it. Dorothea was always admirably — and, what is far 
more important — harmoniously dressed, that is to say, dressed 
in harmony with her surroundings of the moment. The 
Colonel's Riviera choice Mademoiselle Aurelie disapproved. 

" What will you ? Madame is now married ! " she said, con- 
siderately, to the daughter. 

Long experience had taught her to appreciate exactly the 
framework required by her mistress of the moment. Dorothea 
must not be fast: she must not even be gay: her requirement, 
at present, was to be cheerfully " distinguee." " The secret of 
being ' distinguee,' " says Aurelie, " is not to desire 'que Ton vous 
distinguee.' " She herself, in complete effacement, most distin- 
guished of maids, always praised as Dorothea's the taste which 
was her own. And, when her handiwork was completed, when 
Egon came in and said, " Dolly, you look stunning ! " — ^then 
Mademoiselle Aurelie, although feeling somewhat like a cook 


who has successfully dished up a sweetmeat, would lift yp her 
soul to the hlessed Madonna, her aider in every good work. " 1 , 
in my way," she would declare to herself, "I do what I can. 
Marriage, after all, is a pis-aller, the world's greatest difficulty. 
I, when I escaped it, I swore I would do my best to help those 
that have not,'' 


In Florence they received, towards the end of summer, one 
of those telegrams so long expected that they colne as a surprise. 

"I want to see you both. — ^Father." 

This message arrived as they were rising from dinner. An 
hour later saw them in the night express that runs to Milan, 
and next morning, with the sun already high in the cloudless 
September heaven, they drove swiftly through all the beauties 
of perfect landscape and perfect weather — ^the summer glow of 
Italian lake and mountain — to the Pension Varoni, that stands 
just outside Lugano. 

The General was in the garden, on a couch. Their first 
glimpse of him, after all these months, sufficed. 

He looked into their faces. " Yes, I am glad you are come," 
he said. 

He lay, propped on pillows, a white umbrella fixed so as 
to shelter his face. All the rest was sunlight, blazing Southern 
sunlight, brilliant on pathway and flower-bed, and shrub. Be- 
hind him rose the chalk glare of the villa, broken by a dark 
green mass of orange trees that gathered their foliage like a 
screen round the sick man's head. In front spread the smiling 
city, the lake and the stem grey mountains that enclose it, 
under torrents of golden profusion: warmth, sparkle, clear 
splendor of sky. 

" Yes, I am glad you are come," he repeated. He bade them 
sit down beside him, with his daughter and his wife 

" Konrad is coming, too," he added, " and the Child also 
is coming." " The Child " was the name that had stuck to the 
youngest son, Karl, the small cadet at Lichterfelde, "the pet 
with the pets," as his uncle had once sneeringly called him. 

" I am glad. I am glad," said the General peacefully. He 
spoke with a painful drawing-up of his breath, and his eyes, 
above the glowing cheeks, glistened as if a drop of crystal lay 
inside them. 


Egon took his hand. '^ Those are the three words I have 
of tenest heard from your lips," he said. 

" Well, I have been glad all my life. There have been a 
thousand reasons I " The General lifted himself on his elbow 
somewhat. "My life has been beautiful beyond the wildest 
dream." His right hand sought that of his wife, and he 
smiled to her. " There was nothing wild about it at all," he 
said. " That was just the beauty. Beautiful, commonplace, 
day by day." But even as be spoke, a slight shadow of trouble 
sank upon his placid forehead. " I might have done more,'' he 
murmured. " Hush, dearest, I am regretting nothing. I bavo 
done what I could." 

His eyes sought a familiar feature in the landscape — ^he 
turned them to the east. 

" Dorothea, will you push aside those laurels a little. See, 
yonder, the statue of Tell on the market-place I Well, no, you 
cannot see it — it is over yonder. Kever mind. No one ever did 
more than he — for his age, for all time— and now they say that 
he never existed 1 " 

He sank back, exhausted. ^' But all that doesn't matter," he 
gasped. " The only thing that matters is to have been what we 
were intended to be." 

He lay still for a long time. They sat round him, hushed, 
in the placid movement of the teemf ul morning. Life, sound, 
happiness, were everywhere. A couple of white pigeons came 
strutting about the path. 

"My vocation," he said, with his eyes closed, "was to be a 
King's officer, to love you, and be jnade happy by you all. It 
isn't much, dears, but there are great men enough in the world 
— ^there must be a few happy ones as well." 

"My husband," said the little Generalin, tremulously, and 
she pushed back the hair from his forehead, " thou bast been 
happy because thou hast done much, and done well." 

He shook his head faintly. "I cannot understand all the 
happiness," he whispered. "I lie thinking of it night after 
night. See, all my life long there has been nothing but good- 
ness. Even the little troubles have blossomed into flowers. 
There is only Egon's hurt that is lasting " — he felt in the direc- 
tion of his son — ^" and, see, that has brought him Dorothea ! 
Love her, Egon I " 

Father and son clasped hands in the dark of the General's 
uplifted eyelids. 


"Love her as I have loved thy mother. Earth can bestow 
nothing better than that." 

" Have loved ! " he repeated, after a moment's silence, and 
there was protest in his tone against himself. 

But suddenly he opened his eyes, and his voice grew stronger. 
" We know only one thing ! " he cried, " that God is eternal, 
and is Love I " 

Immediately his voice died down again. His gaze remained 
fixed on his wife's face. "Dearest," he said, "man can lose, 
but He cannot take away." 

His daughter got up and gave him a few drops of cordial. 
A church clock struck in the distance. He smiled. 

"Mathematically accurate as usual. I am so sorry, Gert- 
rude." He tried to kiss the fingers that held the cup, but his 
head fell back. "You deserve a better reward," he said, "but 
children — ^mother, dear — ^you must not be angry: but I don't 
think I'm sorry to go." 

None of them dared look at him. None of them realized at 
that moment whether they were weeping or not. 

" Of course I should have liked to remain a little longer. 
Dearest, what matter a few years, after all? I have been too 
happy, and to think that I am passing from happiness to greater 
happiness! That is life for those who understand it — despite 
all difficulties and sufferings, that is life: a happy passage to 
a happier end." 

His eyes were wide open now, looking at them all. "Is it 
not wonderful I " he said. " And God has sent me here to die, 
in the open air and the sunshine. Every day have I lain 
in the sunshine all summer — such a summer I It has always 
been my hope not to lie in a sick room, not to die in a box! 
Already I am in Paradise" (for so they call this quarter of 
Lugano). " Yonder " — ^he pointed to the looming summits that 
almost meet — a granite wall — against the entrance to the farther 
lake^-" yonder through the narrow passage lies Italy I " 

He sank down again with fluttering breath. " The land of 
beauty I " he panted, " beyond the narrow passage. Beyond." 

The lunch bell came clanging out to them from the villa. 
He motioned them all in the direction of the . house. One 
moment he drew his wife's face quite close down to his own. 
"Leave me — ^now for a — little," he faltered. "I shall live to 
see Konrad and the Child here, but, if it were not so, it — it 

wouldn't matter. Tell them — I — shall live — ^to ^" His voice 

died away. 


" He will sleep," said the Generalin. " He has been like this 
before. He prefers us to go, and let him rest." 

They went into the house then, and made some pretence of 
eating, for the return of the travellers had saddened the long 
. accustomed watchers by the sick bed. When they hurried back 
to the invalid, he was lying with his head uplifted, clear-cut 
among the pillows, in peace. The pigeons had come back, and 
were playing in the pathway. A breath of wind among the 
orange trees must have shifted the sun-shade, and the sunlight 
was pouring down upon the dead man's face. 


"What? Heh? What did you say?" Count Koden 
turned from his Figaro and put up his hand to his ear. He was 
sitting in the room he had occupied six months ago at the Hotel 
du Pare, Lugano. His nephew Konrad had that moment 
entered it. 

" Speak up ! You young fellows mumhle so nowadays — ^I 
wonder your own men can hear you." 

" Egon is busy sorting my father's papers," repeated Konrad 
in a military voice. 

" You needn't shout ; I'm not deaf. Well, let him sort, and 
let me read my Figaro. If there's a rule in my household, it 
is this, that nobody disturbs me when I'm reading my Figaro. 
You know that. The Figaro requires care, or you're apt to miss 
marriages and deaths. I see they've put in the paragraph about 
your father, and they've got the name all right, which is a 
weight off my mind — the French are so apt to be careless. King 
for my coffee, Konrad, and leave me in x)eace I " 

"Egon asks whether he may come and show you a letter 
he has found." 

" A letter? Certainly, in half an hour's time, before I start 
for my walk. I can't have Egon, or anybody, disturbing me for 
every trifle: I have important business of my own. Letter? 
iN'onsense. Your father was a very poor letter-writer; he never 
said, somehow, what one wanted him to say. Or is it a letter 
that somebody had written to him? Eh? It is? Very well; 
if its old love-letters, I don't want to see 'em. !N'ow I come to 
think of it, I don't want to have anything to do with your 
father's old letters. Old letters are no business of any one's 
but the two persons concerned. The less other people know 
about them, the better. Your father was sentimental; he's 
bound to have old letters. But he was very discreet about them : 
never worried me, and I won't be worried now. Egon's a fool, 
but he's not such a big fool that he'd show them to your mother I 
I never knew a man die, but there were old letters turned up 
about a child and things, and a lot of expense 1 And it's mostly 


blackmail. Tell Egon I'm busy — ^important business; and he 
mustn't worry me with dead men's letters." He settled himself 
in his chair. " And pull down the blind, if you please. This 
room, I believe, is neither north, south, east, nor west. I hate 
this place, and the room is the worst in the whole hotel. All 
these health-resorts are odious, excepting Monte Carlo, which 
is spoilt by the tables. King the bell again, if you please. 
Thank you. The attendance is outrageous. Now go away and 
leave me in peace ! " 

Konrad had stood watching him: one of the first rules all 
the children had been brought up to, was that nobody must ever 
interrupt the Head of the House. " Is it gout ? " reflected Kon- 
rad, as his uncle's* eloquence poured past him, "or is it simply 
garrulity? Old people should grow either talkative or deaf; 
not both." 

As Count Roden, however, resuming the newspaper, turned 
his ear to the light, Konrad- resolutely bent towards it. 

" It's a letter from father to Egon. I'm afraid that it won't 
bear delay." 

The Count flung round, red as a turkey-cock. " Confound 
you! I tell you I'm not deaf 1 What do you mean by yelling 
down my inside as if I were a speaking tube ? Well, what the 
devil does the letter say?" 

" It's about the funeral. He hasn't told me. He wants you 
to come and read it, yourself." 

"The funeral! The funeral! Some stupid fancy, I bet 
you ! " Count Roden-Rheyna shuffled to his feet. " Some 
nuisance about not wanting flowers, I' presvune, and the notices 
all sent out ! " He grumblingly departed. " Bring me some 
coffee, and see that it's hot ! " he said to the waiter whom he 
met in the passage. He flung open the door of his sister-in- 
law's sitting-room with what was almost a bang. " Ah I I beg 
your pardon, my dear," he said, bowing to Dorothea. The 
latter was sitting by the window, in her black dress. Egon, at 
the table in the middle of the room, had a box with documents 
before him. " The Child," lolling in a comer over a novel, 
pulled himself together as his uncle came in. 

" Pray do not let me disturb you, Karl ! " said his uncle, who 
especially disliked this god-child, simply because the boy was 
young and healthy and happy, and had all his life before him. 
"What are you reading? Just the kind of book your father 
would have liked, I daresay." 


The cadet colored furiously. " It's Gyp," he replied. " She's 
no harm." 

"Harm? No, indeed. She is, beyond comparison, my 
favorite author. But I doubt whether she was your father's. 
Which of hers have you got ? " He drew the gray paper volume 
from his young nephew's fingers, not unwilling, perhaps, to 
keep Egon in suspense, as Egon had prematurely disturbed him. 

" * Autour du Divorce I ' Pah I " He threw down the book 
in disgust. " What affectation I You are not even old enough 
for ' Autour du Mariage.' But it's a clever book, and a great 
deal truer to life than what your father would have chosen — 
say 'Hermann and Dorothea'?" 

The boy, with an impetuous movement, dashed the book 
violently into the little wood fire that was smouldering on the 
hearth. The crash sent a cloud of ashes and sparks over the 
carpet. A red-hot cinder alighted on Count Roden's toes, caus- 
ing him to skip back with exceeding alacrity. 

" D ! " he shrieked. " My dear Dorothea, again I must 

beg your pardon, but really, the young ruffian is mad I " He 
looked his excited god-son up and down. " There went three 
francs fifty," he said. " I shall remember, Karl, that you have 
plenty of money to waste." And he smiled. 

" Uncle ! ' interrupted Egon, who had sat fretting, with an 
open document before him, "I have just found a letter here 
from my father, in which he tells me that he wishes to be buried 
in the place where he dies." 

Count Roden sat down, put his finger-tips together, and 
nodded his head to and fro. 

" Quite so," he said. " Well, it can't be helped." 

" Of course it is very unfortunate that it wasn't found 
sooner, before all the arrangements were made for the journey 
to Rheyna. But there has been such a dreadful hurry about 
everything. These Southern officials don't leave one time." He 
looked harassed, thought Dorothea, as she watched him from 
her window. 

"Very regrettable," said the Count, studying his exquisite 
finger-tips, "but, perhaps, just as well. Who's that?" He 
threw himself round as some one opened the door. " Oh, Kon- 
rad? Sit down. 'No, not behind me. Over yonder. Thank 

"Everything must now be coimtermanded," said Egon. 



"Everything must of course be immediately coimter- 

Count Koden-Rheyna drew forth a scented pocket-handker- 
chief, and very deliberately brushed it across his white mous- 

" Your father," he said, " was a man of many passing ideas. 
Did your mother know?" 

"Not a word: I am sure." 

"Or you? Of course not. Nor I. He cannot, therefore, 
have meant it seriously. I do not see that there is occasion for 
countermanding anything." 

"But the letter is very peremptory. Quite brief and posi- 
tive. He does not desire to be moved, to be travelled with! 
Head it yourself ! " He held out the paper, but Count Roden* 
Rheyna made a deprecatory movement. 

" My dear boy, no, thank you 1 I have no liking for dead 
men's letters. Of course I understand it is all exactly as you 
tell me." 

" * In that place where I die,' he says, * I wish to be confided 
to the care of Mother Earth. If I die at Lugano, let me lie 
at Lugano.'" 

"Just so. It is like your poor father to cause these com- 
plications. He had ideas, had Justus I " 

" But, uncle Karl — there is no time to be lost, then I " Egon 
got up. He staggered a little; he had hurt his lame foot the 
other day on alighting from the train. "I must go at once 
to the station ! " he said. 

" Stay where you are," said uncle Karl in a suddenly decided 

" My foot is all right again ; I can take a cab. Nobody 
else '' 

"Hang your foot! Really, my dear Dorothea, I fear you 
are almost, if such a thing were possible, a little in our way? 
You— eh?" 

"Of course, if you wish it, I will go," replied Dorothea, 
"but I would much rather stay and hear the matter settled." 
She was afraid, and anxious to remain near her husband. 

Count Roden-Rheyna slightly shrugged his shoulders. " As 
you will ! " he said, relieved of all further responsibility. " Well, 
Egon, you understand, the whole thing is absurd. All of us 
have always been buried at Rheyna, and we can't make an ex- 
ception for anybody, now." 

" But my father wished to be buried here," persisted Egon. 


"If so, he should have told us beforehand — given proper 
warning. Now it is too late. Everything has been arranged. 
In a couple of hours the train starts." 

Egon sat where he sat, in dogged silence. 

Unexpectedly, the courtly Count Roden struck his fist on 
the table, so that all the glass in the room rang again. " Who's 
paid for the whole business ? " he cried. 

" You have, sir, of course. Do you consider that relevant? " 

" None of your fine airs to me I Dorothea, I have told you 
to leave the room. / have paid, and it is easy enough for you 

to say d the expense, but I say: the train's mine, and the 

dead man in it's mine, and the vault over yonder's mine, and 
he shall go into it I " 

Egon bit his lips : his face was white. " You do not really 
mean that, uncle Karl," he said, "about the expense?" 

" I am in the habit of meaning what I say." 

" We are not as rich as you are, uncle Karl — ^my mother 
could not, but I am sure that Dorothea will allow me to refund 
you whatever amount has been unnecessarily spent." He 
veered round altogether, so that he could meet his wife's eyes. 

Count Roden left Dorothea no time for a reply. He bent 
forward, his face suddenly purple. " You insolent young black- 
guard ! " he screamed. " Hold your tongue I Or I'll box your 
ears, like the idiot you are I " 

In the silence which followed they could hear him drawing 
his breath. 

"At four o'clock the train starts," he said, slowly, and 
calmly, " which takes on the van to Cologrne. The servants are 
already at the station. We follow in the night. From Cologne 
the special train takes us and — it — to Rheyna. Everything is 
ready for the official reception. The mayor has learnt his 
stupid speech by heart. So has the steward. So has the par- 
son. The school-children are practising 'We plant this seed 
for Paradise ! ' The yokels of the guard of honor have routed 
out the rusty bits of crape that did duty — in their father's time 
— for my father. They're all looking forward to the — ^to the 

pleasure, d ! " He sat back against his chair, compressed 

his lips, and once more balanced his finger-tips: 

"And they sha'n't be disappointed," he added. 

"ITncle Karl, it's all as you say," answered Egon gently. 
" Nobody is sorrier than I, but " He held out the paper. 

Count Roden ignored it, resolutely looking the other way. 
"Your father should have thought of the thing sooner," he 


said, "or, at least — " (fortunately he was too hard of hearing 
to catch Konrad's guffaw. Konrad sat a silent, and not un- 
amused, spectator), " at least — ^you should have found this docu- 
ment sooner. Tear it up. None of you says a word to your 
mother; she has trouble enough. My dear Dorothea, you are 
the most charming woman I ever met; will you also be the 
first that could keep a secret? A secret not injurious to her- 
self, I mean. The matter is at an end." He rose. "Unless 
you have any further commands for me, my dear, I shall return 
to the — interrupted — perusal of my Figaro?" 

Egon rose also. "I cannot help it," he said. "You must 
forgive me. I have never disobeyed you before. I am going 
down to the station immediately, to stop that train." 

Count Koden looked at him. They faced each other, gazing 
straight into each other's eyes. " Sit down again," s^id Count 
Roden quietly, "there can't be a public scandal over a corpse. 
Let us talk it over. You have plenty of time." He took out 
his watch as he spoke. " Three o'clock," he said. " The train 
doesn't start till past four." 

" I can wait, then," replied Egon, sinking back much re- 
lieved. " Uncle Karl, if you will only look at the matter from 
our point of view, I feel sure " 

" The Child " had sprung to his feet, in his comer. His 
chest was heaving. " Why, it's struck the half hour I " he cried 
hoarsely. His color came and went. 

Uncle Karl turned slowly. "My watch must be wrong, 
then," he said. " It is not such a good one as that which I gave 

you " He broke off abruptly and flung himself against the 

door. Egon's lameness had lost the day. 

The old man wrenched the key round deliberately. "No- 
body leaves this room till half -past four," he said. " I do not 
wish to hurt anyone's feelings, but I simply am unable to act 
otherwise. I cannot be made ridiculous — ^profoundly ridiculous 
— ^at Rheyna, and all over the kingdom. I have never yet been 
ridiculous in my life. I cannot begin now." 

He stood looking at them all, curiously. He was chiefly 
annoyed at Dorothea's being thus locked up with his family. 
Only Konrad had assumed an air of indifference, playing with 
the worn-out tassel of his clumsy easy-chair. 

An authoritative bang on the door broke the tension. At 
the same moment it was flung wide open (for it had one of 
those defective hotel locks which require two twists of the key). 


" Kaffee I " said the tall waiter, filling the doorway, with up- 
lifted tray. 

" Go to hell I " shrieked the Count — all his bottled anger and 
nervousness bursting loose. 

"Your Excellency was not there," replied the waiter. 
"Shall I take it back?" The Child, overwrought, rippled off 
into an unexpected little rill of merriment. Konrad wo\ild 
have laughed also, but this time he was in his uncle's line of 

" Put down the tray and go I " 

" Pardon I " said the waiter, hastily backing, for the little 
Gteneralin, in her widow's weeds, came past him, with a sad 
little cheerful smile. ' 

" All here together ? " she said. " Have ypu not yet ordered 

Her brother-in-law uttered a groan. "Bringen Sie Thee," 
said the Generalin to the waiter. 

" No, by G^ 1 " cried the Count, who had edged behind 

her, near the door. She turned in amazement. "I — I don't 
approve of tea for young people," said the Count. He motioned 
out the waiter, and now double-locked the door. 

" Oh — I didn't know," answered the widow indifferently. " I 
never heard you at Rheyna — ^never mind: it doesn't matter a 
bit." She moved to a sofa. "Why, my dear Karl, whatever 
makes you lock the door?" 

" As fate has decreed we should have our women mixed up 
in the business," said Count Roden desperately, " it can't be 
helped. Show your mother that paper, Egon, as you are want- 
ing to do — ^I shall never understand you — and put up your 
watch. It looks absurd." 

Egon silently handed the Generalin his father's letter, but 
he left his watch where he had laid it on the table before him. 

" Well ? " said the Generalin, lifting her eyes from the paper. 
"Well? It is very simple. He was right." She gazed from 
one to the other: a troubled look came into her eyes. Sud- 
denly she sprang forward to the table. " The train starts in 
half-an-hour ! " she cried. 

" Yes," said Egon, " and unless you unlock the door at once, 
uncle, I — I shall leave this room all the same." 

A thrill of horror ran through the limbs of some of his 
listeners. Konrad lifted hia pale eyes and stared strangely at 
his brother. 


"You will assault me, I presume?" said the Coimt. His 
upper lip curved: he certainly did not look frightened. 

"Mother, don't be unhappy," was Egon's answer. "IVe 
done all I can, all I can. Time presses. Uncle Karl won't 
listen to me. Tell him — ^tell him, please — you tell him — ^we 
must do as father wished I " 

" But surely I " replied the Gteneralin. " Nor can your uncle 
mean anything else: there is some misimderstanding." She 
trembled with the emotion of the moment. "Hasten, then, 
Egon, or it will be too late I " 

Uncle and nephew took each other's measure. "I am the 
Head of the House," spake the Count, " and I say : No." 

"I have never disobeyed you before," answered Egon, and 
svning himself forward, seated, bare-headed, upon the window- 

Dorothea ran to him with a cry of distress. "Not that, 
Egon I Remember your foot!" She turned on the coimt, 
" Forbid him I Prevent him I " she cried. " !His foot I " 

" I have done all I could to prevent," replied the Count with 
an evil smile. 

" I can't help myself. There's not a moment to lose I " ex- 
claimed Egon simultaneously. 

Then it was, as the eldest brother drew himself up, measur- 
ing his leap, that the Child felt impelled to ruin all his own 
prospects in a moment, from that day, henceforth and for ever. 
He jumped off his chair, ran hastily forward, and, collecting 
all his youthful energies for one magnificent effort, kicked open 
the rickety door in a burst. 

Then he stood staring, breathless, at all who were staring at 

He felt that the position was embarrassing. " I'll go down 
to the station and tell them to unhook the van at once," he 
said. Whereupon he disappeared, with alacrity. His heart 
was light. And so, henceforth, would be his pocket. 

When Count Roden spoke again, it was in quite a smooth 
voice. " Konrad, would you shut the door — ^as far as practi- 
cable! And, Egon, I think you had better close the window. 
There will be a draught." 

Egon did as he was told, came back to the table, and seated 
himself before his father's despatch box. Mechanically he took 
up the watch and replaced it in his waistcoat pocket. 

His uncle had sat carefully watching his every movement: 
the last action seemed suddenly to exasperate the quickly in- 


f uriated old man. A violent oath broke from lips that abhorred 
swearing, in the presence of women, or at other men than 

"Defy me as much as you dare! Crow over me as much 
as you choose ! You can bury your dead father exactly as you 
like ! " shouted Count Roden, choking as the words pushed each 
other up his throat. Then his voice dropped almost to a whis- 
per : " 'Tis the worst hour's work you ever did," he said. " Fm 
not dead yet, like Justus is. Though you think you are safe, 
my dear Count, you're not." 

He took up a paper-knife, and toyed with it : Konrad still 
sat gazing at his brother's face, in his pale eyes that peculiar 
smile. The Generalin had begun to weep softly. Dorothea 
stood close behind Egon, white but stilL 

" I shall start for Berlin to-night," continued Count Boden, 
drawing imaginary designs on the cloth with the ivory paper- 
cutter. "I shall take in hand immediately the matter of the 
succession. I shall not leave a stone unturned — what ? — I shall 
move earth — and heaven I If I have any influence with the 
Emperor, I will get this iniquity of yours, about the marriage, 
undone: Konrad shall marry when he chooses, if he chooses — 
and he shall choose, the sooner the better ! " At the " shall " of 
the last sentence, the ivory blade snapped across. 

"His Majesty dislikes these irregular successions; he has 
said to me before that he would prefer to see them gradually 
abolished." Count Roden's accents grew absolutely cheerful 
again. He rose and began buttoning his coat. " We will abol- 
ish this one. I shall abolish it. It has always been very doubt- 
ful, if the family contract is binding in a modem court of law. 
We will settle that question once for all: I have very little 
doubt of the Imperial decision. Egon, you have chosen, madly, 
to insult me, the Head of the House, without any reason what- 
ever, to wantonly defy and outrage me. You have turned the 
brain of that poor silly boy and ruined his future. And your 
own. And your own. Come, Konrad. I shall choose my own 

The younger brother went forward and the old man took 
his arm. " We must find a wife for you : who shall it be? One 
as charming as Dorothea?" — he swept her a deep bow — ^"but 
that would hardly be possible ! Or a quiet little German ' Frau- 
lein ' with more ancestors than cash ? " Near the door he 
stopped, surveying its splinters. " No lame lord of Rheyna for 
mo ! " he said, and went out. 


Egon remained with his womankind. And of these two, 
Dorothea, bending over his chair, kissed him silently upon the 
forehead. He quivered, for Dorothea's affection, as has been 
said, seldom thus found physical utterance. 
" He cannot do it," said the G«neralin. 

" Order the funeral against your will ? No, indeed, mother." 
" Appoint Konrad his heir, was what I meant." 
Egon did not answer, for he believed in the power of the 
Coimt to do anything of that kind — almost limitless is the power 
of Power to do wrong. 

On the next day they laid the dead man to rest, as he had 
willed, in the sunny graveyard at Lugano. Konrad was not 
present, having accompanied his uncle north. "I have lost 
two," said the little Generalin to herself, weeping at the open 
grave. The parson preached of life eternal, a long reward for 
virtue here on earth. 

The Child, standing very erect, felt that, whatever sins he 
might commit hereafter, he had gained for himself already a 
good place up above. 


Egon and his wife accompanied the widowed Generalin back 
to Bonn, and helped her over the usual dreary re-establishment 
amongst friends who are anxious to express, very quickly and 
kindly, sentiments they cannot be expected to experience. Then, 
as it was still early in September — the days warm and the prom- 
ise of shooting splendid — they made a number of people 
happy by proceeding for a couple of weeks to Brodryck. 
Whether Egon was one of the many remains to be seen. 

He had originally imagined that he would never be able to 
forgive uncle Tony: then, of course, he had forgiven him, 
utterly, from the heart, as we do. Great offences, especially if 
limited strictly to ourselves, our own hearts surprise us by read- 
ily forgetting: it is trifles we separate over in deadly feud. 
And that also, like so many other contradictions, is a merciful 
dispensation of Providence, for, if we distinguished rightly be- 
tween stabs that crimson the soul and pricks that puncture a 
hand-glove, what wo\ild become of our affection for the dear ones 
who harm us most ? As it is, all forgiveness comes easy, if only 
the offence be grave enough, and he who offended sufficiently 

The first sensation created amongst the villagers of Brod- 
ryck by the accounts of the bridegroom was one of disgust at 
his personal infirmity. Certainly, the peasantry were not pre- 
pared to give him a kindly reception; even Dorothea's popu- 
larity had suffered under the fact of her having married a 
foreigner, and, perhaps almost more, of her having married 
abroad. When it became known that the chosen suitor limped, 
the men of the neighbourhood, especially the old ones, said she 
was a fool for her pains, and many of the women thought so. 
It was therefore all the better that the owners of the estate 
should show themselves to their dependents, even though their 
bereavement prevented the customary triumphal reception. The 
actual appearance of " the lame Apollo," to borrow uncle Karl's 
expression, caused a sudden divergence in popular opinion, for 
the women suddenly bade the men hold their tongues, and re- 


proach bride or bridegroom no more. " The brow of Apollo," 
says uncle Karl, " and the foot of a sylvan satyr I " 

Aunt Emma treated her young relations during their brief 
stay to much ironical but well-meant advice on the all-engross- 
ing subject of wedlock, the marriage bond, the nuptial tie. 
Under the impression that Egon and Dorothea were an ideally 
blended and welded couple, harmonized and unified as water and 
wine (Dorothea being the wine, for aunt Emma was no hum- 
buggy teetotaler, but enjoyed all good gifts of Providence), 
under this impression the dear old spinster was constantly point- 
ing out to them their inability ever to separate again. They 
were not, of course, desirous to do so, but it is tiresome to find 
yourself referred to any human compulsion from which there 
is no other escape than death. In aunt Emma's little world 
" decent people didn't separate." " Divorce," said aunt Emma, 
" is a cutting of the Georgian knot. But I always thought that 
was very wrong of George I " To her maiden heart, that had 
cherished the man who married her dearest, and plainest, friend, 
there was something exceedingly beautiful in seeing young lovers 
happy. "You'll be sorry one day," said aunt Emma smiling. 
"Man loves but little here below, and he loves that little wrong." 

"What do you mean, aunt Emma?" 

"More than I say. Better ask your uncle Antony. How 
do the weddings go, dear Egon? The golden wedding — ^that's 
the first. The wooden wedding. The leaden wedding (that's 
twenty-five). The glass wedding — crash!" 

" You forget the composite wedding, in between," suggested 
uncle Tony. 

"Antony, hold your tongue. You are not fit company for 
young girls like Dorothea." 

At this there was a great outburst of laughter, for aunt 
Enuna was constantly forgetting that Dorothea was married, 
and would speak of her to the servants as " the Freule." 

Uncle Tony, stooping, patted the recumbent Em and Doll, 
both heavily dormant, as usual, across his feet. 

"Right, my beauties," he said, "you two are the only two 
women in the world that understand whatever I say." The 
dogs lifted their heads and looked at him. " And that always 
answer right," he added. 

" They are splendid dogs," declared Egon, and uncle Tony 
gurgled. " It is a pity you have not more sport hereabouts." 

" We have sport enough," said uncle Tony shortly. He irri- 
tably blinked his eyes. 


" More different kinds, I ought to have said." 

"Kinds enough and to spare," began Dorothea, but aunt 
Emma's outcry covered her voice. 

" Antony, I must tell you it was Em killed one of our last 
kittens, yesterday." 

"No, my dear, no, it couldn't have been," interposed aunt 
Mary, nervously, and hastened to rattle the tea-cups — ^they still 
drank tea in the early evening at Brodryck, after a six o'clock 
dinner, drank it in the earwiggy summerhouse, or the glass 
verandah, with the windows down. 

Uncle Tony sat up, very red. "It — ^was — not." 

"It — ^was," replied Emma promptly. "I have proofs. She 
bit it to death." 

" And if so," continued Mary, much flurried, " it was very 
small, just bom. It can't have felt much, its body was so little, 
and we've thirteen left, dear Emma 1 " 

" Mary ! " Emma's eyes dilated. " I believe, for the sake 
of peace, you would hush it up if Antony had shot at the 

" How dare you suggest such a thing as that ? " cried Mary, 
almost weeping; and "Leave sacred subjects alone, if you 
please ! " said Tony, redder still. 

Aunt Emma's voice broke down. " To say that its body was 
too small," she gasped, " and she gave it two hi — big bites." 

Uncle Tony rose with majestic movements, rolling the 
cumbersome dogs off his feet. " The matter must be cleared 
up at once," he said ; " I cannot allow these innocent children 
to sleep under such an accusation. Wake upl Emma, you 
ought to be ashamed of yourself, after all the tolerance they 
have always shown those little wretches with which you choose 
to litter the place." 

" The little wretches have a nearer claim to share my hearth 
than you," replied Emma. 

Uncle Tony vouchsafed no answer, but placed himself near 
a corner of the conservatory, very solemn, in the full light of 
the suspended lamp. 

Dorothea and Egon shall be judges," he said. "If they 
differ But no; of course they always agree." 

" This is foolishness," protested the irritated Emma. " I 
know " 

"Hush! It was Em, you say? Come here, Em I " One of 
the dogs drew nearer. They both sat watching; their great 
eyes were full of interest, and also of unutterable woe. 


" Em I " said uncle Tony in accents that would have touched 
the heart even of a human being, " you are one of the two finest 
Irish setters in this kingdom. You know what that means ? " 
The dog, sitting on her haunches, a russet and golden glory, 
stopp^ wagging her tail. Her sensible nose was pointed to her 
master's face; she twitched the canny nostrils as if in assent. 
" Noblesse oblige. Eh. Now tell me — ^your right leg means yes, 

and your left leg means no " Uncle Tony stopped, looked 

round triiunphantly at the old ladies, tried to wink at Dorothea, 
and, suddenly, more solemn than ever: "Now tell me — would 
you like a biscuit, Em? " 

The dog thus addressed slowly lifted one silken paw, the 
right, and held it aloft. Her sister sat watching, immovable. 

"It is something," exploded aunt Emma, ",to have escaped 
the fate of marrying a man who can cover his grey hairs with 

"Wait a minute before you produce your cap and bells," 
replied the old gentleman imperturbably, and he broke a bit of 
biscuit for the culprit. " All I have wished to do as yet is to 
prove to the judges that the accused has the use of her senses, 
and can honestly answer when addressed. Now listen to me, 
Em — ^have you finished your biscuit? Hush, listen! — this is 
much more important I Em " — no judge could have been more 
impressive in tone — ^" you see that big cat on the table, and the 
cats in the basket over yonder, and the cat on Miss Emma's 
lap — ^you know them? Cats, Em, cats! Now, tell me — ^I know 
that you always speak the truth — right for yes, left for no — 
have you — ^listen well! — ^have you been naughty to cats, Em? 
Have — ^you — been — ^naughty to cats, Em?" 

The deep-brown eyes of the dog seemed to grow larger with 
a liquid light of sympathy. Slowly she lifted her left paw, 
submissive, pleading, dignified. Uncle Tony faced the judges: 
".Is the case proved or is it not ? " he asked. 

" Mary," spake aunt Emma shrilly, " Caspar saw it done ! " 

"My dear, it was an accident," pleaded Mary. 

" Have him in ! Have him in ! " shouted Tony. " No peace 
till this matter is sifted to the bottom! Pit the word of a 
menial against that of a gentlewoman born ! " He pointed to 
the still testifying quadruped. " Put your paw down, my poor 
beast ! " he said. 

"Menial! Our Caspar! If I had so spoken of Sarah, 
Kebecca, or Rachel!" exclaimed Emma. 

But uncle Tony had seized the little hand-bell off the table 


and rung it so violently that Caspar, at peace in the servants' 
sitting-room, scalded himself suddenly with his seventh cup of 
tea. Caspar was accustomed to be rung for gently, and with 
all-sufficient reason: when, therefore, he heard this hysterical 
peal, his fancy immediately leaped to a fire or a fit. It annoyed 
him intensely, on rushing in, with the tea over his shirt-front, 
to find neither the verandah in flames nor one of his mistresses 
on the floor. 

" Caspar, I have always had a great admiration for your dis- 
eernment," said uncle Tony. This was correct, but Caspar was 
not the sort of young man to be caught by the smell of soft 

" The ladies contend," went on uncle Tony, without moving 
other -muscles than elocutionary, "that it isn't possible to dis- 
tinguish one of those two dogs from the other. Now I main- 
tain that to men who know them they're as different as — as a 
horse and a cow. What say you ? Which is Em ? " 

To Caspar the conundrum presented no complications, for, 
unless in his own interest, he always agreed with his ladies. 

" I don't know, sir. To me they look exactly alike ! " 

" Oh, Caspar, you said it was Em 1 " cried aunt Emma. 

Uncle Tony turned triumphantly to Egon : " Now, I ask the 
two judges, what faith can be put in a witness who has lived 
half a dozen years with two dogs and don't yet know one from 
the other? And that against the word of a dumh lady who can 
say what she wants and discern right from left — ^unlike most 
of her sex ! " added Tony. 

" The court lets Em off ! " answered Egon laughing. 

" Not proven ? A verdict ! a verdict I " cried the vehement 
old gentleman. 

" Em or En I " declared Caspar doggedly, scowling at Egon, 
whom, of course, he hated anyhow, "I saw one of those big 
brutes" — an old score, this — "crush one of Miss Emma's dear 
little kittens in the backyard yesterday!" 

" There I " cried aunt Emma. 

Uncle Tony had twisted himself between the ladies and the 
man-servant. " Now, Caspar," he said, facing his cousins, both 
hands behind his back and a big silver rix-dollar atop of them, 
" I don't doubt that a dog killed Miss Emma's small kitten, but 
are you sure it was one of mine? You've not a quick eye for 
dogs, as we've seen. There are many other dogs in the village " 
-—the rix-dollar signalled — ^^ as — ^big as minel " 


A rix-dollar is only a rix-dollar, but in the continuity of 
rix-dollars- there is charm. 

" Well, certainly," said Caspar dubiously, " the butcher's dog 
is very like yours." 

"What?" shouted uncle Tony, skipping right round. For 
Bofky, the butcher's dog, is a big yellow mongrel. 

The rix-dollar twinkled high in the air. Aunt Emma rose. 
" Antony, why are you holding a rix-dollar behind your back ? " 

Her tone was awful: the silence which followed it more 
awful still. 

Uncle Tony spun round again with even greater rapidity. 
" I " he said, " I " : then he sank back into a low cane- 
bottomed chair and wiped his forehead with a red pocket-hand- 
kerchief. " I was twisting it in my fingers from sheer nervous- 
ness," he gasped behind the handkerchief. "You make me so 
horribly nervous I really don't know what I do." 

Caspar had disappeared at a welcome sign from aunt Mary. 
" Let us say no more about it ; it was all a mistake," proposed 
the latter lady gently, and Dorothea began talking very fast 
of villagers who were dead, or ill, or had disappeared. 

" Then the mayor must kill the butcher's dog I " remarked 
Enmaa at her loudest to no one in particular. And, as she re- 
ceived no inmacdiate reply, she concluded, emptying her tea- 
cup with a snap: "If he hasn't killed the kitten, so much the 
worse for him, and everybody. 'Tis a world where the innocent 
suffer for the guilty. Eh ? " 

" Poor Caspar's eyes are growing worse, I fear," interposed 
aunt Mary, as Tony made a mental note to speak to the mayor. 
Aunt Emma caught fire at once. " We must put him under a 
regular homoeopathic oculist I " she cried. " It all comes of 
your persisting with your herb-concoctions 1 " 

"My herb-concoction is supreme for short-sightedness," 
said aunt Mary, with touching conviction ; " but of course, if 
it is a case of genuine ophthalmia " 

"He only says that when he has broken something valu- 
able," interrupted uncle Tony, getting briskly out of his low 
chair and general state of collapse. " It's a beautiful evening. 
-You might walk back a bit with me, Roden." 

Egon consented. As a matter of fact, his foot had by no 
means recovered from the fresh wrench he had given it at 
Lugano. Always more or less painful, walking now positively 
hurt him. But nobody noticed a secret the young husband was 
esi)ecially anxious to keep. 


" Em," said uncle Tony, as the two dogs drooped behind him, 
along the moonlit high road. "Em I" He paused, bending 
roimd toward them, in his queer-cut, squireen clothes. " Em ! 
Always speak the truth 1 " Then he walked on for some dis- 
tance, chewing his big cigar, without further reference to the 

" Very true, very true, what you said just now about sport I " 
he remarked presently. "We have too few kinds. We lack 
variety. It's always rod and gun." 

"No himting, I suppose? Yes, it's admirable country," 
answered Egon. 

"No hunting, no coursing, no baiting of any kind. This 
isn't a sporting nation. Stuff about cruelty; Once a club of 
young swells got up a stand for pigeon-shooting. The police 
intervened at once, brought actions, as if it were a bull-fight I " 

"I never saw a bull-fight," answered Egon. "My father 
did. He said it was a beautiful spectacle, and wouldn't have 
been really cruel, if it hadn't been for the horses. 'Not half as 
bad as a stag-hunt." 

" Psha I What's * cruel ' ? A woman's cruel when she won't 
kiss a man that loves her. All the same, 'tis women, bird- 
bedecked women, that have these fancies about cruelty. You 
may think yourself lucky at being allowed any shooting at all. 
Not a year ago Dorothea told me, just before she left for the 
Riviera, that she wouldn't allow any shooting on her estate I " 
He chuckled. 

"No shooting?" cried Egon, astonished. "But hares and 
rabbits are vermin, and if one didn't " 

" Oh, you needn't talk the A.B.C. of common-sense to me," 
replied the old man testily, " though I had to talk it to Doro- 
thea. I shoot every day of my life that God and the law will 
let me. Dorothea's, of course, was only a silly 'fancy.' She 
knows that as well as I." 

" She has never hinted at anything of the kind to me," said 
Egon, a little restlessly. " On the contrary, she seemed to be 
glad to think I should get some good shooting here." 

"Yes, yes, of course. Well, you owe it to me. *Do you 
like roast partridge?' I said, and that finished her. 'Very 
much, indeed,' she says, for Dorothea's terrible honest. She 
has her faults (though you don't see 'em), but she's honest down 
to the ground. Unlike most women. Better leave well alone: 
she might start off again. Women'U take to any fad, if they 
think that their doing so arouses your interest." 


"You have great experience of women, uncle Tony/' said 
Egon, smiling in the shade. 

"H'm, h'm. H'm, h'm," replied uncle Tony. He slapped 
the big German on the forearm. "I'll always befriend you 
with your wife, my boy." 

Indeed, he had done so. "I know men," he had said to 
Dorothea. " A woman can manage them easily, if only she lets 
them think that they have their own way. Remember the 
proverb, my dear : ' The husband's the head of the family ; the 
wife's the neck.' I'm a traitor to my sex, but it's all the better 
for Egon : no household endures in peace where the husband's 
will is law. There never was a wife yet could bear the strain " 
— ^uncle Tony grinned — ^**you must give way in little things, 
my dear " — uncle Tony turned in the doorway. " And, remem- 
ber this, my dear — ^you haven't forgotten asking me, on your 
birthday, if I knew the world? if the world was very wicked? 
— remember this : a man's wicked isn't a woman's, child." 

" Oh, uncle Tony, that canH be true," cried Dorothea, flash- 
ing. *'But it doesn't matter, besides, for Egon has got no 
wicked I " 

The healthy old gentleman wrinkled his rubicund cheeks. 
" Quite so, my dear child, and yet my words are true. A man's 
wicked is not a woman's wicked, nor is a man's good a woman's 
good. Good-bye." 

Dorothea, left alone, shook her head. " I can't imagine what 
he means," she said. " There is only one good in the world, 
and that's God's." She did not enquire whether we all see 
that good from the same standpoint. And yet she herself had 
recently modified her ideas about shooting game. She had told 
herself that, as wild beasts big and little must be shot or snared 
(which latter is monstrous!), it was quite a natural thing that 
men should enjoy the excitement of skilful aiming : every other 
view, if you came to think of it, was sentimental, an affecta- 
tion. Shooting, then, was honest sport, not brute torture, like 
angling. For men, such straightforward work was right, for 
women — ^nol Her face cleared: she thought she saw uncle 
Tony's meaning: other occupations, of course, were fit for 
women or for men. 

But this by the way. Which now was nearly ended, for 
Egon stopped at a turn in the road. "You've no foxes or 
stags," he said, " so you couldn't very well have much hunting. 
But you've plenty of hares, and capital ground, as I said." 

"Yes, indeed," replied Tony, reflectively, "I have pointed 


that out a dozen times. But a man wants encouragement. You 
stay over your birthday, I imderstand, next week 'i^ " 

"Yes, in any case." Egon offered his hand. 

" I am glad you are a lover of sport. And of dogs. I like 
you better than I thought I should, von Roden I " He slapped 
down his hand in the other's extended palm. 

" I am glad of that,*' laughed Egon. 

" You don't mind my saying it? Eh? " 

" Indeed, no." 

"What a fool you would be, if you did! Come along, 
girls ! " Whistling, uncle Tony disappeared into the night. 

Dorothea stood with aunt Mary, in the garden, in the gentle 
moonlight, waiting for Egon's return. 

" I am happy to think of your happiness," said aimt Mary. 
" Child, there is nothing in the world worth living for but love." 

Dorothea was silent, not in full sympathy with the old maid's 
extravagance of language. 

" If you love him truly, you will love him to the end." 

Dorothea smiled. " Of course, aunt Mary, I intend to." 

" Well, remember the truth of it, dearest, should misunder- 
standings arise." 

"Why should they, aim tie? Egon and I understand each 
other perfectly." 

" Of course, dear ; that was what I meant. But clouds will . 
obscure the clearest sun. And therefore, always remember, that, 
as you love him truly, you must love him to the end." 

Her old voice faltered. Dorothea pressed closer against her, 
with drooping head, for thought of the two graves out yonder 
in the moonlit churchyard, the grave of the aged pastor aunt 
Mary had hopelessly loved through a lonely existence, and that 
of the young wife and mother, dead on the threshold of a 
woman's supremest happiness. 

"Aunt Mary," she asked tremulously, "what did — ^why did 
— ^I mean, what was my mother's sorrow? — ^I have sometimes 
fancied of late that a great sorrow killed her, — and I. have 
thought that it might have been — ^but tell me, aunt." 

The old woman stiffened, in frame, and voice, and manner, 
suddenly hard. "Let the dead past bury its dead," she said. 
" Your mother loved your father, Dorothea." 

Were the words a refusal, an extenuation, or a reply? The 
yoimg wife shivered, unable to question more. 

" That is Egon's step," she said. " Poor fellow ! Shall we 
go and meet him?" 


On Egon's birthday there was no shooting. A day of rest 
— ^and rational rising — ^had been decreed by the ladies after a 
period of successful sport with various neighbors. Uncle Tony's 
head seemed almost turned by the congenial excitement of doing 
honor to a brother Nimrod from foreign parts amongst his own 
sporting chums of forty seasons. He had much to say about 
Egon's shooting, its faults and excellences, and some — chiefly 
local — advice to offer, as becomes the old Obadiah, when out 
with the young Obadiah for long days in field and forest. " He's 
a good shot," said the old man to Dorothea. " He might be a 
better, and he might be a worse." Dorothea's indifference to 
this piece of information stung the incorrigible seeker after 
something to slay. " I have known many better, with half his 
opportunities," added uncle Tony rather spitefully. " Thank 
Heaven ! " replied Dorothea. The old man twinWed his little 
black eyes at her. " What's worth doing at all is worth doing 
— ^better than other people," he said. 

But this close intercourse in community of interest caused 
uncle Tony to fraternize most happily with the man he had 
intended to dislike, and the fact was agreeable to Dorothea. 
Also it brought the newcomer into easy contact with all the 
somebodies and somethings of the province, in circumstances 
favorable to superficial friendliness : the young husband, whose 
nationality and marriage to the heiress were equally against 
him, made a satisfactory impression at various shooting parties, 
and appeared to enjoy himself everywhere. Dorothea, therefore, 
felt that she had much reason to bless the pheasants and par- 
tridges, whose dead bodies she was obliged to survey, in the 
thicket, before luncheon, or at nightfall, in front of the house. 
During brief intervals of respite, when uncle Tony had " busi- 
ness," she delighted in showing her husband all the haunts of 
her childhood and introducing him to the country people she 
had known and loved all her life. Here, of course, the scion 
of Rheyna was in his element, and the husband and wife found 
themselves enjoying a bright sympathy and eager agreement 
such as the sojourn at Florence had never developed. Dutch* 



men and Germans, especially if the latter speak "Platt- 
Deutsch," can make out each other's meaning pretty well when 
they wish to. Verbal intercourse, therefore, of a kind was 
possible between Egon and the peasantry around him. People 
of education all over the Continent — outside Spain — invariably 
understand a couple of foreign languages sufficiently for the 
needs of trivial conversation in either. 

Together the young couple visited the manor-house and 
arranged how they would occupy it during the next summer 
holidays. Egon's plans for a future career, diplomatic or parlia- 
mentary, were much hampered just now by the quarrel with 
his uncle, who certainly would not help him at this moment in 
Berlin. He had therefore abandoned his original idea of going 
to the capital from Brodryck and seeking an appointment in 
the Prussian civil service. To avoid all semblance of a rup- 
ture, he agreed with his mother that no definite settlement 
should be made till after Christmas. Meanwhile husband and 
wife could go south again, "in idyllic prolongation of their 
honeymoon," said the Child. 

The only one of Dorothea's friends to whom Egon did not 
take kindly was Mark Lester, the student, the dead pastor's son. 
Almost every husband dislikes the young men his wife knew 
and liked before she made his acquaintance. The thing is fool- 
ish, for has he not more reason to fear the agreeable youths 
she met after she had chosen him? But these instincts yield 
to no arguments. The most jealous husband is ready to accept 
his own pleasant acquaintances and resolved to object to his 

" I do not like him," said Egon. " He is lean ; he is melan- 
choly; he looks cross." 

" Then he looks what he is not," answered Dorothea hotly. 
"But some light-hearted people can never distinguish between 
'cross' and 'sad.' I admit that he has not a loud laugh for 
every trifle; his life is too hard for that." 

" Dear me, Dolly ! " Egon lifted his eyebrows, ascribing to 
personal interest what was really more general loyalty. "I 
never knew you to fly out like that before." 

" I don't know what you mean by ' flying out.' But I can- 
not bear to have my friends ill spoken of simply because they 
are my friends, and that by people who do not know them." • She 
walked to the window, with an air of great vexation, and stood 
drumming on the pane. The husband, of course, would have 


done wisely to let the subject drop, and therefore he continued 

" You are most unjust, dearest," he argued. At that moment 
he felt overflowing with argument, all-convincing. "As soon 
as you are serious, of course, I have nothing against Mr. Les- 
ter. I was speaking half in joke when I said he looked lean and 
cross. I hear that aunt Emma calls him * Schiller.' I suppose 
he is a poet, a thinker. You wouldn't want a poet to be gay and 

"Laugh away; he can't answer you," replied Dorothea. 
" He is only a poor student that has to work for his bread, and 
give lessons, not a gentleman of rank who can spend his days 
in the open air, and laugh over humorous stories." 

The "gentleman of rank in the open air" had called up a 
grin upon Egon's face, which the "humorous stories" swept 
away in a thunder-cloud. For here was some of uncle Tony's 
clumsy handiwork. That terrible old man had told at dinner 
the night before how Egon had kept all the shooting-party in 
a roar over " lots of f luiny stories of his student days at Heidel- 
berg." Dorothea had of course immediately asked for a repe- 
tition of the stories. Uncle Tony had nodded and winked and 
looked wise, and declared that the thing was impossible. " Not 
before ladies, my dear ! no, no — out of the question — ^your hus- 
band was a sad dog. Some day he must tell you himself I " In 
vain Egon had tried to explain that the stories were harmless, 
as they were, tales of comic uproariousness, a glass too much, 
a practical joke or two, not fit, perhaps, for the ears of teeto- 
talers, thought Egon. The more he had protested, the more 
uncle Tony had chuckled and made mischief. "Let us speak 
of something else," Dorothea had said in a voice which showed 
how the matter rankled. Heaven — or hell — only knows what 
she imagined the stories to have been. When Egon afterwards 
protested, the impertinent sinner had answered : " Stuff and non- 
sense! If she does think the stories were naughty, so much the 
better. She believes you're a saint" (uncle Tony grinned), 
" and if you're a wise man you'll make haste to disillusion her. 
No man on earth can keep his wife up to her idea of his worth 
when she married him. And Dorothea's schoolgirl conception 
of masculine virtue is absurd, idiotic, unreasonable! Pooh! 
It means a lot of trouble some day to somebody." Uncle Tony 
took snuff. 

"But please leave us to disentangle things for ourselves," 
pleaded Egon. 


" By all means," said uncle Tony. " I'll tell her the stories 
weren't naughty," which he did, confirming, by his utterance of 
an afterthought, her uncertain but painful impression. 

When, therefore, Dorothea referred to this reprobate occa- 
sion of mirth, her husband's face grew dark. He would gladly 
have asked her, in open words, what she feared were these tales 
of his youth unfit to tell her, but the question seemed impossible 
to his proud, and yet delicate, nature. He felt the hot blood 
rising at the thought that his wife should doubt him in such 
a matter as this. A man can speak to his wife of love and 
endearment and honor, but of purity, if he be pure, he cannot 

" Mark Lester is serious by nature. He is poor. He has 
recently lost his father. No wonder he doesn't laugh much," 
continued Dorothea. 

Egon bit his lips. "I also have recently lost my father," 
he said. ^' Do you mean to insinuate that, because I laugh, I 
do not care?" 

She turned from the window, facing him, with a beautiful 
backward movement of the head he had never seen in her before. 

" We have been married about six months," she said. " Have 
you not yet learnt that I never insinuate ? " 

" But, my dear Dorothea, it was certainly wrong of you " 

She waved his objections aside. " I daresay it was. I shall 
probably do or say a good many things, sooner or later, which 
you do not approve of, but be certain of one thing : I shall never 
insinuate anything." 

He looked at her. " Good heavens ! " he exclaimed suddenly, 
"we are having our first quarrel. I don't know what it is 
about ; it can't be about Mr. Mark Lester." 

Dorothea held back. " You are provoking," she said quickly. 
" Perhaps you do not know how aggravating you can be." Their 
glances met, and all her annoyance melted before the softness 
of his gaze. She laughed as he drew her towards him, but the 
tears stood in her eyes. " Be good to me, Egon," she said. 

"I thought I was perfect," he answered. 

"Well, so you are in — in ^" 


She stopped his lips with a kiss. " If ever I am very clever," 
she said, " I will tell you all I mean." 

This was a couple of days before the birthday. On that 
morning they did not quarrel, but came down to breakfast late. 

Very soon after the meal uncle Tony arrived, immensely 


important and flurried. To aunt Emma's inquiry lie replied 
with such vehemence, " Nothing ! " that everybody at once un- 
derstood something out of the way to be the matter. His 
sitting down in a litter of babies was not an event to provoke 
comment in so feline a household, where the ladies themselves 
must be constantly tiunbling over, settling down on, or other- 
wise getting entangled with various categories of kittens and 
cats. These little ones, however, too small to escape readily, 
fought for their lives with a swift determination, which caused 
uncle Tony to rise very hastily and mutter, as he rubbed the 
scratched part, some insulting allusion to the usefulness of Em. 

" Eh ? What did you say that dogs were good for ? " asked 
Emma, watching him closely, behind her crochet. 

"For lying under chairs," replied Tony. "I never allow 
any animal on mine." 

"Don't you? But then, of course, dogs are such dirty ani- 
mals, not cleanly, like cats." 

" Ahem ! Fve got a present for Egon," answered uncle Tony 
hastily. There was a general outcry of astonishment, for uncle 
Tony, as all knew, destested presents, not, certainly, from want 
of generosity, but rather on account of the worry of selection. 
Even to Dorothea he had never brought other gift than a gold 
piece on her birthday and another on his, in the summer; only 
to aunt Emma he presented an annual unnecessary trinket, a 
ring or a brooch. She put them all away in a cedar box, with 
a wisp of his hair of the time when it was golden. In the same 
" casket " were also one or two relics of the man who had mar- 
ried her dearest, and plainest, friend. 

"Yes, I have a present for Egon," repeated Tony. He re- 
fused to give any further explanation; on the contrary, he 
openly invited Egon to share his morning walk. "You can't 
sit spooning all day," said Tony. " Come away with me now 
for an hour in the woods. You can spare him, can't you, Doro- 

" Oh, till lunch," replied Dorothea, laughing, and Egon won- 
dered if she would ever notice the difficulty in walking he would 
rather have died than declare. But Dorothea, perfectly healthy 
herself, had no aptitude for discovering hidden ailments, could 
only realize, in fact, those which write themselves plain, such 
as colic or a broken leg. 

"Yes, go away; we are busy for the children," said aunt 
Emma. " Dorothea has chosen to treat Egon's birthday exactly 
as if it were her own." 


" Considering I shall not be here on my own," explained 

But uncle Tony, with many winks and signs, had already 
enticed von Boden out into the fresh autumn morning. " Come 
along with me ! Come along with me ! " repeated the old gentle- 
man excitedly* He led the way through the shrubberies, skip- 
ping nimbly and mumbling to himself the while in extremest 
glee. " Quite right," he said suddenly, " you were very right. 
You remember saying the other day that we lacked variety over 

"Variety?" answered Egon. 

"Yes, in our forms of sport," exclaimed uncle Tony, very 

" Oh, yes, quite so, in your forms of sport." 

" Well, one would almost think that you didn't care." Uncle 
Tony stopped where the shrubbery opens out into the lower field. 
He looked aggrieved. 

" Oh, yes, I cate, but, you see, it can't be helped," said Egon 

" Can't it? ** replied uncle Tony with a ready chuckle. His 
Own keeper came forward at that moment from behind a clump 
of trees. " Well, Jansen, have you got 'em there? " asked uncle 

The keeper touched his hat. 

"Everything ready?" 

"Everything, sir." 

The lower field is barely five minutes' walk from the ladies' 
house, upon the Brodryck property. It stretches over a couple 
of acres, lying encircled in brushwood, which climbs across the 
top of a grass-grown mound, thus hiding upon the other side 
a favorite seat of Dorothea's. At the nearer end stands a group 
of" birches, and from behind their silver stems now proceeded 
Into view a tiny boy and a great big hound. The dog required 
a lot of dragging, to which he good-naturedly submitted, while 
resenting it. 

" You know what that is I " exclaimed uncle Tony, beaming, 
and slapped his thigh. 

" A greyhound," answered Egon. " A — a — ^what do you call 
it? — a harrier." 

" A harrier ! " shouted uncle Tony. " And the best to be got 
for the money — ^half a dozen prizes! The female is coming in 
a day or two ; I couldn't get her sooner. We'll breed them, my 
boy ! " — slap — " we'll have a regular pack I " — slap — " we'll have 


coursing matches ; and, by George, we'll introduce coursing into 
this country I " Slap ! Slap ! 

Egon watched the beautiful brute, and the little chap slowly 
tugging him over the grass. 

"They're my present to you, my dear fellow, the pair of 
them. You shall have the honor of keeping and breeding 
them," said wily uncle Tony. " You shall introduce the thing 
amongst us, I say! It shall be connected with your name in 
this country. Next to the discoverer of a new food comes, in 
his claim on human gratitude, the inventor of a new game. 

"Yes, yes; it's very good of you," said Egon. "And it's 
first-rate sport of its kind." By this time they had met the 
hound half-way, and Egon stopped to pat him. "Leporello is 
his name," said uncle Tony. " I wrote for him as soon as you 
had put the idea into my head, but he only arrived last night. 
I was in a great flurry about him. But I think he's all right. 
You must have a pack. Yes, you must introduce coursing into 
this country!" 

" You see, we can't have the great doings you told about at 
Bheyna," he said, " no deer-shooting in forests, or things of that 
kind, but there's no reason why we shouldn't hunt hares." He 
fell eagerly to discussing the animal's points, and Egon, who 
really knew more about the whole matter than Tony, delighted 
the old man with the information he gave. 

" It's a pity we can't try him," said Tony. 

"Well, yes, so it is!" 

Uncle Tony gave a little crow of enjoyment. " !N"ow then, 
Jansen ! " he said. At the same time he took the leash from 
the boy's hand. The keeper disappeared for a minute, and re- 
turned holding a bag which he had steadied with some incon- 
venience. . Something in the bag struggled and fought. One 
look at the dog was sufficient to tell what were the contents 
of the bag. 

In a minute or two, after a certain amount of explanation 
and loud direction and objurgation from uncle Tony, the keeper, 
standing ahead, opened the bag across the grass. Immediately 
the hare was out! The straining dog had dragged loose, send- 
ing uncle Tony flying behind him, legs up in air. Quarry and 
pursuer flew away, a swift trail along the smooth surface of 
the field. In another instant the hare doubled, the dog already 
gaining upon him; they slewed round, with quick loops and 
lacings, a beautiful sight undeniably, in spite of its cruelty. 


Uncle Tony sat up, red-hot, shouting and cheering like a mad- 
man. Egon, with a flow of boyish excitement, joined in. The 
keeper and the boy stood stolid. 

Of course it was very soon over. "He's got another in a 
bag still," cried Tony, running forward. The two men, the 
dog, the dead hare, were grouped in the middle of the field. 

Dorothea stood on the mound, her lithe figure framed in the 
hazel bushes. She had pushed some branches aside and was 
holding them away. Both uncle Tony and Egon had seen her. 

She came half-way across the field, very quickly. " Now 
this is just what I should have chosen," said uncle Tony, a little 
nervously. " Better get it over at once, if she objects. You 
must be very firm with her, Roden; your whole future com- 
fort is at stake." 

Egon did not answer, though he felt that what uncle Tony 
had said was correct. 

"If you are to be ruled in such common-sense matters by 
the whims of your wife " But Dorothea was within hear- 
ing; he broke off. 

She came quite close to them and stood studying for a 
moment, as it were, the dog, the little dead beast on the grass, 
especially the little dead beast. Then she lifted her slow eyes 
to Egon's face. " So it is true," she said, and turned, and 
walked back across the smooth, green grass. 

The two men stared at each other. " She takes it very 
quietly," whispered Tony. "Elle en prend son parti, the best 
thing she could do. By Jove, we'll have otter hounds ! " 

But Egon was after his wife, across the grass. 

" Dorothea ! " he called. She quickened her pace. 

" Dorothea ! " No answer ; she was walking too fast for his 
lameness. Uncle Tony and the servants stood watching. He 
realized the absurdity of his position. Resolutely he came back. 

By uncle Tony's side he waited in silence, watching her as 
she rapidly passed up the mound, into the bushes, behind the 
hazel leaves. She was gone. Uncle Tony drew a deep breath. 
"We'll have out the other hare," he said. "Yes, by George, 
we will," replied Egon. 

Meanwhile Dorothea sped out of sight or hearing, and then 
paused, with a beating heart. She looked right and left, like 
a hunted thing, straining forward as if the dogs were upon 
her. " It is not possible," she said, shuddering, " not possible I '* 
and she pressed her hands upon her eyes, as if she had dreamed 
a dream. 


She wandered away down to the village, the church, the 
cnurchyard, creeping to her mother's grave, as had been her 
childish custom when in sorrow or disgrace. The thing came 
natural to her still. Often she had lain there sobbing her griefs 
into the greensward. " IVe been naughty again, mother. Oh, 
I want to be good I " She had long had an idea that this dead 
mother could help her. Alas I nobody else could — a thought 
that aunt Mary had never openly combated, though aunt Emma, 
with tears of sympathy in her eyes, had declared it was papis- 
tical trash, and Dorothea must conquer such fancies. The 
child, therefore, had wept more hopelessly by the grave, from 
which the white cross stared coldly at her. "Blessed are the 
pure in heart," it said. Dorothea knew that was not for her. 
But, not being sentimental, she soon dried her futile tears and, 
accepting her corruption, made the best of a bad business. In 
fact, could she have read her own heart, she would have found 
it to contain a distinct impression of unfairness, that a child 
so very faulty should receive so little benefit from a perfect 
mother in a better world. As a wee baimie, she had long 
prayed: "Please God, send mother back for Christ's sake" — 
suddenly one night she had changed this to " my sake " ; then 
came the horrible evening, after long months, when she fully 
admitted to herself that the petition was hopeless, and dropped 

" Please God, send mother back for my sake. Amen." She 
now thought of that reiterated demand with a pitiful smile. 
She remembered how she had trembled at making the substi- 
tution, wondering whether it was blasphemy, too honest to ask 
any longer for the Lord's sake what she felt that she needed 
and desired for her own. The first time she had said it, in her 
cot, after the light was out, she had shut her eyes, half expect- 
ing to be struck by lightning — then she would go to her mother 
(for Dorothea never, in spite of aunt Emma, believed in hell) — 
nothing happened; even now, a grown woman, she shuddered, 
disappointed at the thought. She stood looking at the grave, 
vaguely wondering if the presence of a mother by her side — 
for instance, over yonder at Nice — would have altered the whole 
course of her life. What had shs not learnt of the world since 
. she had stood here last ? She had gained and lost a father. Had 
she gained and lost a husband ? 'No ! no ! no ! She had gained 
and held them both. 

" At last ! " said a voice behind her. She turned to greet 
Mark Lester. 


" I knew you would come some day," he said. " I thought 
you would come a great deal sooner." 

She could find no reply to what seemed a reproach. 

" It is the first time, Dorothea, that we meet alone since — 
your marriage." 

"Yes, we have been very much occupied, my husband and 

" I know. I am preparing, as I told you, for my ordination. 
If all goes well, I shall be inducted into this place next spring, 
unless you, who are the lady of the manor, refuse your consent." 

"Perhaps I shall," she said, * smiling. 

"Or is it your husband nowadays who must give his ? " He 
had no idea of the bitterness that lay in his tone. He added: 
" If so, he will probably refuse it. I ought to be sorry, and I 
shall be glad." 

" Mark I " She turned, shocked by the wretchedness in his 

^' Don't pretend, Dorothea; you know very well he doesn't 
like me! Does it matter? I sit and work in the garden yon- 
der; I can just see this cross through a gap in the shrubbery. 
I knew you would come. I wanted to give you here my father's 
last message for you." 

"What was it?" she asked softly. 

" He told me, an hour before he died, to remind you of his 
birthday text. He did not say what it was." 

" ' And to keep yourselves unspotted from the world,' " said 
Dorothea, gazing at the cross before her. " What does it mean, 

" I do not know. I have not the faintest idea. Don't ask 
me. What is ' the world ' ? " 

Dorothea was silent. 

" But of course anyone can see what it must mean to you : 
to remain just as your are, good, among all the bad people who 
surround you." 

"But I have no bad " She drew breath; the scene in 

the field rose before her. 

"You are leaving to-morrow, are you not? Before I go 
back to my book, tell me that you are happy. That is all I 
want to know." 

"You used to say, Mark, that no one had a right to be 

" Tell me that you are happy," he insisted, but she saw in 
his face that she had answered him. 


" I am as happy as I deserve to be," she said. 

" For a person as humble as you are to say that, you must 
be very wretched." 

"Nonsense, Mark!" She laughed. "We are going back, 
as you know, to Italy to-morrow. We intend to take a house 
on one of the lakes for the autumn, and then winter in Rome. 
Now, I want you to promise to come and see us in our house 
— we shall have other guests; I want you to come. You can 
work there ; the change will do you good. You are not looking 
well, Mark. I am sure you will like Egon when you know him 
better ; you have many things in common," 

Mark made as if he would speak, but checked himself. He 
could not tell her that they had one thing in common which 
separated them most. 

" No, I cannot come," he said. " It is very kind of you, but 
I cannot come." 

" I will write to you. I shall send for you, Mark." 

"Don't, Dorothea!" 

" Yes, I shall. And you will come." 

" Good-bye," he said, walking towards the little parsonage 
gate. But half-way he turned back, 

" We are brother and sister," he said, ^^ are we not ? We 
have known each other all our lives. I want to ask something; 
I dam't, but I must. Dorothea, I can stand no longer the 
agony of doubt I have been enduring through all these months. 
It keeps me from the thoughts I should be thinking night and 
day. Tell me, before we part — ^by our old friendship — ^you have 
Inarried a man you didn't know. Most women do. You love 
your husband?" 

No, she was not angry with him as he stood there before 
her, worn, and gentle, and strong with some hidden fire of suf- 
fering. The world had gone hard with Mark Lester. All 
things were against him ; he was honest of lip — ^that may often 
succeed — and of thought — that fails. 

Full of tenderness for the old friend here before her and 
the husband yonder in the meadow, she answered : " I love him 
from the bottom of my soul." 

" Thank God! " replied Mark, and left her. 

Egon, returning early, did not see Dorothea again till just 
before luncheon, when she met him purposely, as he presumed, 
in the hall. 

She stopped opposite him, enduring his questioning glance 
with hardened eyes. 


" Egon," she said, " I have no right to interfere with your 
amusements. There are things I suppose I could resent, hut 
this is not one of them. Let us please not refer to the subject." 

" Dorothea, the brute was uncle Tony's birthday present. If 
you like, TU " 

"Prayj do not ask what I like. Besides, that is quite im- 
necessary. Anyone who could possibly derive the faintest satis- 
faction from so hideous an exhibition of cruelty is too utterly 
removed from my way of thinking in such matters to make any 
discussion or explanation advisable between us." 

Her figure trembled, but her face was firm. 

" Of course," he said, " if you deem all explanation unadvis- 
able " 

^*I do. Where such differences exists as could render 
possible your amusement of this morning, all further talk would 
but lead to recrimination. Please let me pass." 

Looking into her eyes, he saw that here was no misunder- 
standing, no divergence of sympathy, but resolute separation, 
momentary dislike. He rebelled against the rashness of her 
verdict as he moved aside. She passed by him. 

" Egon ! " she cried, with a woman's swift revulsion of ten- 
derness. "You cannot say that you enjoyed the monstrous 
cruelty of that brutal sport ! " 

But he was angry with her, and, above all, loyal to his com- 
rade in crime. " I do not see," he answered, " why a man can- 
not take an interest in coursing without being branded as a 
monster of cruelty too horrible for words." 

She vouchsafed him no further reply. Aunt Mary at 
luncheon lifted her glass — of water. "My dear nephew and 
niece," she said, " to-morrow you leave us ; may the good God 
go with you I And all through life's journey, to the end, may 
you always be as happy and united as you are to-day I " 

In the lower field, the keeper, Jansen, stood looking down at 
two dead hares. " Funny tastes the great people have ! " he 
grumbled. " A shameful thing it seems to me, boy, but it comes 
from foreign parts. Keep back that brute! The Freule — beg 
pardon, the young Mevrouw — ^was right to go back again. That 
my old master should be such a fool I " 


On the blue waters of the Lago d'Orta, loveliest amongst 
the smaller lakes of Lombardy, in the silver sunshine sparkling 
through them, and the golden sunshine pouring over them, and 
the grey autumnal heat mist thinly veiling the calm mountains 
all round them, on the bright blue waters of the Lago d'Orta, 
a gaily painted rowing boat, with the German colors pendent 
from its stem, was lazing languidly against the little waves that 
laughed towards it. The rowers had dropped their oars and 
lay back amongst the colored cushions. The charm of the 
sleepy landscape was upon them, the dolce far niente of per- 
fect stillness and blazing heat that will soon be turning into 
chills. It was early in October; summer was dying slowly, 
superbly, with sudden revulsions, as a woman's beauty dies when 
the gods, and her heart, are good. 

" Egon," said Dorothea, " this place is the most beautiful of 

" I am glad you think so, dearest." He kissed her, and she 
let him kiss. 

" It has been paradise to me through these ten days. I have 
never been so happy before." 

"And, what, in your paradise, am I, the old Adam or the 
snake?" She put her hand across his mouth. 

"You said you had forgiven me," she answered. 

"I never did!" 

"Egon, you remember ^" 

" I said I had nothing to forgive. I am glad that we spent 
those two days at Bonn, Dorothea. My mother was right in 
scolding me. She said I ought never to do anything I knew 
you didn't like." 

Dorothea dabbled her hand in the rippling water. " She 
scolded me, too." 

" I am sure she would never have ventured." His face 
clouded over at the thought that his mother should know. 

Dorothea looked down on her fingers, bent by the current. 
"I will tell you exactly what she said; why not? She spoke 
to me of her union with your father, her happiness. * I loved 



him/ she said, ' neither for his faults, nor in spite of them, nor 
for his f aultlessness, but simply because he was he, and I was 
I.' So, you see, nobody made mention of you, sir." 

" You are willing, then, to love me in spite of my blemishes ? 
Before we married I told you it was not fair to exi)ect me to 
prove perfect. Perfect, good heavens ! You will have to make 
up your mind, Dolly, that you have married a very ordinary 
every-day mortal, who certainly can't fly." His glance stole 
along his recumbent frame, slowly down to his foot. 

" I don't want you to fly ; you might fly away ! " said Doro- 
thea, her eyes wandering over the lake. 

His answer could only be a lover's answer. It was true that 
these days on the lake had marked a period of simple happiness. 
The two were alone, in their white Italian villa, sheltered from 
advisers, hidden from strangers, on this golden backwater of 
touristdom. They were alone, then, with their honest desires 
towards each other, with nature, that gave them all things to 
enjoy; and their hearts wanted friendship, not discontent. So 
they spoke not of differences in the sunlight, but sank down 
the stream side by side. 

" Sing to me ! " said Dorothea. " There is nobody near. The 
belb of San Giulio have struck midday. All Italians are at 
lunch or asleep." 

"What shall I sing?" he asked, in the drowse of the boat 
upon the water. " * Ich woUt' meine Liebe ergosse sich ' ? " 

" Oh, no, not that ; it is Sunday." 

He smiled at what seemed to him, the German, one of Doro- 
thea's queerest fancies. "Does love stop overflowing on Sun- 
day ? Do torrents, or wells ? " he said. " Mine doesn't." 

" Now, you are so literal, Egon. You couldn't mean * Ich 
woUt' meine Liebe ergosse sich ' to me, because I'm not away." 

"Why, you are more literal than I am; I should have 
thought of you all the time. But I will sing you something 
else." And he began the " Ave, Maris Stella ! " of Gounod. The 
fair lake was absolutely peaceful. Far and wide it shone to 
the shining hills around. 

Presently he straightened himsplf out of his listless attitude 
and bared his head, the while he continued singing, his face and 
form unconsciously assuming an air of reverential calm. Doro- 
thea, of course, could not cast off the prejudices of her sternly 
Calvinistic upbringing. In Florence she had timidly spoken 
once to Egon of her panic fear of his perversion. 


"Leave me what little faith I can develop," he said. "I 
fear, as it is, it will hardly suffice to carry me through." 

She listened now with tears in her eyes and a lump at her 
throat. She could not prevent these from coming whenever 
Egon sang. 

" I will sing you a hymn," he said, and he poured forth a 
couple of the great German chorals: "Ich bete an die Macht 
der Liebe " and Luther's " Feste Burg." 

The little boat rocked as the great notes of the latter rolled 
forth in voliunes of harmonious sound. "Why don't you join 
in?" he asked. 

She gazed at him in adoring admiration. " That would be 
sacrilege," she said. But he laughed so immoderately, he almost 
hurt her. And they rowed a little, idly, making slow progress 
towards the shore. 

" It is getting on for lunch-time," said Egon. 

"Egon, I don't know why it is, but I flatter myself you 
never sing quite so beautifully as when you sing to me alone." 

He smiled. " I know why it is. And so do you — coquette I " 

" Don't call me that." 

"Why not? It is flattery, within limits, to a woman." 

" Surely you don't think a coquette could be a good woman ? " 

" No, but I think a good woman could be a coquette." 

" You are laughing at me," she said, rowing faster. 

" On the contrary, I mean what I say. A man's life is all 
the happier for a pretty woman's whims. Don't be too good to 
me, Dolly; you must tease me sometimes." 

" I don't think you like being teased at all," she answered, 
with sundry memories of what, on her part, had not been so 
much teasings as teachings. "Who is that on the terrace — a 
stranger ? " 

Egon looked. The boat was running towards their little 
grey-stone port, from which steps went up to the flowered ter- 
race, the white villa behind it. 

" It is Konrad ! " exclaimed Egon. Dorothea lifted her face, 
and the figure bared a but thinly planted head. Konrad came 
leisurely down the steps; he was always scrupulously attired, 
and his wiry, nondescript hair and waxed moustache stood out 
neatly against the blue baldness of his skull and cheeks. In 
many ways he looked and seemed older to Egon. 

" Can you put me up for a day or two ? " was his greeting. 

Dorothea stopped with her hand in her husband's, her one 
foot on the stone step. "Adieu, Paradise!" she said; Egon 


pressed her fingers. She climbed towards Konrad with words 
of welcome. 

After luncheon, when the two brothers were alone together, 
the younger condescended to offer a few words of explanation. 

" Uncle Karl is as furious with you as ever," he said, watch- 
ing an aquila pescatrice that swooped across the lake. 

" So I imagined," replied Egon. 

" It isn't any fault of mine, I assure you." 

Egon cast a swift side glance at his brother's sallow face. 
" That remark hardly shows your usual ingenuity," he said. 
" ' Qui s'excuse ' " 

" * S'accuse,' " continued Konrad coolly, striking a match. 
" Did you ever hear a proverb that wasn't a lie -or a platitude ? 
This is one of the lies, the bigger ones. Well, uncle Karl is 
just simply mad. He never was crossed, it appears, in all his 
life before. He'll never forgive you till he dies." 

"He will after," said Egon. Konrad stared, wondering 
whether marriage with a saint was beginning to upset Egon's 
always rather wobbly brain. 

" If you mean the will, you are mistaken," he answered, with 
slow consideration. "He says that he's left me every penny 
he can." 

" I am very glad for you," said Egon drily. " Besides, you 
may need it more than I." 

" Yes, we can't all of us marry heiresses. I hope your good 
fortune is all that people said." On this subject Konrad was 
curious beyond discretion ; moreover, he had been commissioned 
by uncle Karl to find out more than he could. 

" Thank you, we have quite as much as we need. For the 
present uncle Tony looks after the estate." 

Konrad drew a long whistle. " You are not a man of busi- 
ness, Egon ! " 

" 'No, but I am going to be, when the honeymoon is over." 

Konrad had expected a different conclusion — ^a reference to 
Rheyna. " The honey-year I " he sneered. " Well, as I was 
saying, uncle Karl is moving heaven and earth, as he threatened 
he would, to get a free hand about the succession." 

" Shall we talk of something else ?" suggested Egon, annoyed. 

"No, let me finish. There is not the remotest chance of 
his having his own way. I thought you might like to hear that. 
He has even tried extravagant threats of disaffection, so you 
see he has quite come to the end of his arguments. They have 
decreed that he must retain the succession by lot for the heirs 


now alive, but it cieua be abolished by a present agreement be- 
tween us all, for those yet unborn. In other words, uncle Karl's 
demise may be the last occasion for casting lots; after that, if 
we like, we can have primogeniture." 

"Well, that would only be fair to you; but, then, suppos- 
ing uncle Karl were to die within this year, as you may now 
not marry till twelve months after our father's death the last 
chance would be lost for you and your children — at least, if 
I had a child. That, again, would not be fair to you, Konrad." 

For a moment Konrad wondered whether his brother was 
really a better man than he. He decided that Egon's mind was 
either deeper or softer than his own. 

" True," he said. " What is there on that island? A semin- 

" Yes, that is San Giulio. Konrad, I am quite willing that 
primogeniture should replace this absurd lottery system. Only, 
then, in any case, you must have your chance as well as I." 

"Whatever is he aming at?" thought Konrad. 

" Of course I do not like what you have told me about uncle 
Karl's will. Not so much on account of the money, although 
that ought to go with the estate, as because of the injustice and 
unkindness of the thing. But uncle Karl is not responsible to 
me for his actions. You can tell him that I consent to the pro- 
posed change in the entail, but that he must then obtain a modi- 
fication of the clause which forbids you to marry till next Sep- 

"You are generous, Egon." 

"No; I try to be just." 

" Uncle Karl will most certainly refuse. He has an idea 
that discussing the possibility of his dying within a year is 
equivalent to signing his death-warrant. You can't dispute 
about matters of that kind: 'tis a question of sentiment. The 
old boy is as sui>erstitious as a nurse, and as nervous about death 
as a doctor! He'd cancel his new will if I were to hint at his 
decease to him." 

" No man has a right to forbid another man to marry at any 

" Well, the other man can wait ? " 

" True, but if he couldn't wait, it would be " 


"A crime to make him." Both brothers were busy, for a 
moment, with their thoughts. 

Then Konrad laughed. " You should have seen his rage ! " 


he said ; ^^ it was too funny. They x>ersisted in talking to him 
about his probable demise within a twelve-month, his age, and 
his gout, and the chances pro and con. He used to come home 
and abuse me. Lord ! it's no joke, I can tell you — ^looking after 
uncle Karl!" 

" I found that out at Monte Carlo," answered Egon. 

**But he was wildest of all when you wrote and reminded 
him of his promise to send you Hans! I do believe he'd have 
semi-forgiven you, but for your cheek in doing that." 

" It wasn't cheek. He had promised, and I needed Hans in 
this house. Besides, I had heard that the poor fellow was eat- 
ing out his heart at home." 

" ' 'Tis the last thing of mine he shall have,' says uncle Karl. 
' Send it him, and prepay the carriage ! ' " Konrad laughed 
again softly, rubbing his hands. ^' Even then, if Hans had been 
sensible, you'd never have got him." 

"How so?" 

" Oh, I don't know. Ask Hans. He certainly looks brighter 
than he did up at Rheyna. Some fishermen never can under- 
stand that there's more than one fish in the sea ! " 

" He will get over his wife's death in time. It is only six 
months ago, and they were not married more than nine." 

"I suppose he will. What a strange process that * getting 
over it ' must be. I can understand indifference by experience, 
and despair by comparison, but how queer a man must feel half- 
way." Konrad had caught a fly; he meditatively pulled out 
both its wings and placed it, in the sunlight, on the little table 
beside him. 

" Konrad, I wish you would not do that." 

" Why ? Do you know, I like pulling out the wings of flies. 
I figure to myself that I am a gay lady, and that the flies are 

" But I wish you wouldn't do it here. I — ^I don't like it." 
Egon crushed the little crawling thing against the table. 
" Think what our father would have said, had he seen you ! " 

"He would have said," remarked Konrad, looking at the 
stain on the metal surface : " ' Life is a beautiful thing under 
all circumstances. We have no right to deny it to any creat- 
ure.' Is that the carriage coming round? Dorothea promised 
to drive me to Baveno, to see the Isola Bella." 

" It is quite time you started, then. We shall have to dine 

"You don't mind?" 


^'Mind? Ko. Dorothea knows I am absolutely indiffeFent 
as to all her household arrangements." 

" Excepting when you care," said Dorothea, who had come 
out on the steps. She took the reins of her brisk little ponies 
and drove off with her brother-in-law in the jingling basket- 

" You drive well," said Konrad presently. " I suppose you 

" Oh, no," answered Dorothea. 

"Not at aU?" 

"I have given it up — Egon, you understand" — she flicked 
her whip — ^" it would be too sad for Egon." 

"You will resume it," he answered coolly. 

They drove past the quarries of the Motterone, round to the 
full wideness of the vaster lake. The Lago Maggiore opened, 
immense, before them, with the islands dotting its western bay 
towards Pallanza and the snow-capped Alps. Th^ drove 
through that land of smiling autumn — and yet more radiant 
spring, which everyone nowadays "knows," as only tourists 
know. That, by the way, is the new, peculiar railway acquaint- 
ance of everyone with everything. All have "seen" the face 
of the earth, as the crowd sees a queen go by. 

At Baveno they crossed with Dorothea's favorite boatman 
to that strange, half-finished palace of the Borromei, so splen- 
did, so squalid, like a symbol of Italy; on the terraces of the 
Isola Bella they wandered through the gardener's weary denom- 
ination of the plants which everyone who cares to recognised 
before he spoke. 

They were standing on one of the topmost terraces, among 
the oranges and comic statues, when voices which had long been 
audible rang so clearly close by them that both turned with 
astonishment and simultaneous recognition. 

" Madame de Roden I " exclaimed an Italian voice : a dis- 
tinguished-looking old gentleman stood bowing to the ground. 
In a moment the whole party were around them, Signor Pini, 
one or two others, amongst whom Lord and Lady Archibald 

" What a coincidence I " cried Konrad. But he overdid 
things. Without any cause for suspicion, Dorothea caught the 
strange accent in his voice. 

" We are fortunate, indeed," said Signor Pini. " Permit me 
to present to Madame de Roden the Countess Pini-Pizzatelli, my 


A dark Italian woman, with dazzling white complexion and 
dreamy eyes, dressed in a lot of guipure and a bunch of crimson 
roses, extended to Dorothea a languid but beautiful hand. 

" You did not, then, know I was married ? " said Pini, with 
a long-drawn smile, " yet I sent you a * lettre de f aire part.' " 

" Black-edged, with * In Memoriam,' " put in Archibald, with 
his happy knack of saying the wrong thing at the right time. 

"We have been travelling," said Dorothea, "and for the 
last fortnight we have been buried out of sight in a villa on the 
Lake of Orta." 

" And we, for the last three weeks, have been on this side 
of the mountain, in the Palazzo 'Arriet yonder, above Baveno. 
What will you ? It is a hideous name for a house in Italy. The 
house also is hideous, Anglo-Moorish, Franco-Gothic, but it was 
the best we could get — ^the Palazzo 'Arriet ! " He pointed to a 
great big modem red-brick mansion, a mess of northern money 
on the green Italian slope. 

" But now, see ! the honeymoon is ended, and now, lest my 
dear one bore herself — eh, Giulietta ? our friends come to keep 
us company. Lady Archibald is too kind." 

" Don't you talk French about Lady Archibald," interposed 
the latter lady in English. " Ch'ai bas gonfiance." The Italian 
countess turned slightly towards the Kellnerin, and a little wave 
of contempt curled the ends of her full red lips. 

They went down the marble steps, and seemed naturally to 
split up into groups, Konrad and Lady Archibald lagging be- 

" Your father also has promised to come, with Mrs. Sand- 
ring," continued Pini ; " of that fact you were probably aware ?" 

" No — ^I have not heard from them recently ; I thought they 
were at Monte Carlo." 

" Not yet, nor we. One must not exaggerate things. Your 
father and I are the only people, I flatter myself, who have ever 
won money at Monte Carlo by a system- 

" Oh, I say," interrupted Archie, " there was- 

" My dear lord, let me finish my sentence. I was going to 
say * and who have known when to leave off.' My system works 
admirably, but one must not overdo it. Of course there is 
always one immense risk — one in a thousand — sooner or later 
it would turn up and destroy all. One must not tempt fate; 
I never play longer than three weeks at a time." He pushed 
on, with Dorothea, to the shingle, against which their boats lay 
grating. " What say you of my wife ? " he asked hastily, " is 


she not charming? She is of my own compatriots, of Naples, 
a Contessina Brecci — ah, much has happened since we parted: 
I have seen again my fatherland — do you know, there were good 
things ahout the old regime I — ^we were married in the summer : 
is she not lovely i There is not much difference of age between 
us; just enough, as it should be. Yes, she is charming, you 
are very right ! And she adores me." 

Dorothea had said nothing. He held out his hand to assist 
her. " She is Venus," he whispered, bending over it. " And 
you are the Madonna. Of you I was not worthy. It is best 
as it i^." He looked over his shoulder. " Giulietta, it was 
Madame de Roden who said to me that one should marry 
amongst one's own people, and now, see, she has chosen a 

" Monsieur de Eoden is a lucky man," said Guilietta list- 
lessly. But at this there was a shout of laughter, for she had 
turned to Konrad. Archibald especially distinguished himself 
by much skipping and shrieking, as he leaped, with loud bangs, 
from one boat to another, much to the disgust of the boatmen, 
and was heard, between the bangs, to be ejaculating shrill O 
Lords ! and Great Scotts ! 

" But who, then, is this renowned Scotchman to whom Archi- 
bald ever makes allusion ? " cried his spouse, in fierce question 
which nowhere found response. " Archibald, come forth at once 
from the funny, or Herr Konrad will give you a beating." 

" Hold hard," said Lord Archie, in sullen tones, silenced and 
saddened, as he came skulking ashore. 

"Who? Herr Konrad? He cannot. He saith he must 
skidaddle with his sister-in-laws." 

At dinner Egon inquired about the Countess Pini. 

"Is she pretty?" 

" No, I should not say so," replied Dorothea. 

Konrad looked from one to the other. " Tastes differ," he 
said, laughing, " and a woman's opinion of women is never a 

" Why ? Is she pretty, Konrad ? " asked Dorothea. 

" Egon had better find out for himself," replied the gentle- 
man addressed. 

" Well, perhaps she is, in a southern way. But she seeffied 
to me to be half asleep." 

" She will awaken," said Konrad. 



" Lei ^ stance, signore ? '' said a smooth voice behind Egon 
von Roden, who was staggering along the dust-laden road be- 
tween Orta and Gravellona. He had heard the carriage coming 
swiftly behind him, had turned with vain hope that it might 
be an empty fly — the horses were close upon him, two spanking 
bays with a jingle of brilliant harness, smart liveries, a deep up- 
to-date victoria. 

Immediately the words were repeated in French. The occu- 
. pant of the carriage bent forward and continued swiftly : 

"But see, the question needs no asking! You are tired. 
Come into this carriage. I am going to Orta.'' 

" True, I am tired, madame. I am glad you asked ; I am 
very grateful," he answered simply, and got in. 

As they bowled along, he sank back for a moment and half- 
clpsed his eyes. Yes, he was exhausted : his attempted walk had 
proved even a greater failure than of late he had begun to fear. 
Ever since his mishap at Lugano the difficulty and suffering had 
increased. He looked aside at his companion, a handsome 
Italian, and wondered if Dorothea would have noticed his 
fatigue. But he forgot that, before this second accident, he had 
turned off — ^nay, almost resented — any allusion, on her part, to 
his infirmity. 

"If you had not taken pity on me," he said, "I think I 
should have had to lie down by the road. Yet how few would 
have stopped their horses for a stranger ! " 

" Why ? Surely everyone ! Are you living at Orta ? I am 
going to call there on a family named Roden. Do you know 

" My name is Roden. May I ask ^" 

She laughed merrily, to his surprise. It seemed as if a film 
sank away from her face and a sudden sun looked through. " I 
am the Countess Pini. Do you know — ^I will be frank 1 — ^I had 
my suspicions, when I stopped^ that you might be Monsieur de 

" Ah, yes, you recognised me I " he said, bitterly conscious of 
his limp. 



"You are 80 exceedingly like your brother," she added 
eagerly, and Egon acquiesced in her kind intent. '' My husband 
was unable to come to-day : he has gone with a party to Varallo, 
but I would not wait another twenty-four hours before calling 
on Madame de Eoden I I was so pleased to make her acquaint- 
ance at the Isola Bella yesterday." 

" The pleasure was hers," replied Egon mechanically ; " but 
by a strange coincidence, she has also gone to Varallo to-day, to 
show my brother the Sacro Monte." 

" Then nothing remains for me but to return I " 

" Impossible I After coming all this way I The horses will 
have to rest, even if you should not care to do so. You must 
allow me to show you the hospitality of my house, as you have 
shown me that of your carriage." 

" Very well," she said with indifference, and lay back sud- 
denly listless again from head to foot. He sat watching her 
furtively, imable, at £rst sight, to make her out. Did she care 
about everything or nothing? He could not have said. 

" That is the Villa Belrespiro," he said, rousing himself, " the 
white house yonder against the hill. Doesn't it look like a dove 
on the nest ? We go up here. Oh, I see your coachman knows 
the way." 

"Yes, he is from Toce. Have you also Italian servants?" 

" A couple. How good they are ! " 

She was just alighting. Suddenly, again, the film passed 
away from her face, and the sun shone out. - 

" How nice of you to say that ! It is, indeed, delightful to 
meet a man who says nice things, simply because he means 
them." She walked away on to the terrace, which fills the whole 
level in front of the house — a white terrace with dark green 
shrubberies, and late geraniums hanging in clusters over the 

Giulietta stood silent by this balustrade, looking steadfastly 
down upon the water, the beautifully rounded lake that slept 
beneath, a sapphire in a silver and emerald frame. Then she 
heaved an enormous sigh, and turned to gaze at the low white 
house with its pillared porticoes and loggias. 

" Belrespiro ! " she said. " Ah, this is exquisite I This is 
Italian ! Je respire. Ouf I " 

Her companion smiled. "You mock me," he said. "It is 
very modest. Yours, I am told, is the finest villa for miles 

"The Palazzo 'Arriet? Mock you? Have you seen the 


Palazzo 'Arriet?" Her big eyes were staring at him: they 
could laugh, right down somewhere in depths below. "You 
could not be happy at Belrespiro, and admire the Palazzo 

" You will have some tea ? " he proposed. 

" Tea ! 'No, I am not ill. But you shall get me some fruit, 
if you will, and some cakes or biscuits. As you say, the horses 
must have a good rest : it is a very long drive." She sat down 
on a marble bench, while he went to give his orders. When he 
came back she was leaning her face on one hand, staring, star- 
ing at the landscape as if she would drink it in. "Do you 
know," she began eagerly, " I have never been north before. I 
know nothing of my own country, nothing but Naples! Is it 
not a beautiful country — the most beautiful country in all the 

"I am sure it is," he answered. 

She rose. " Yes, I must rest : the horses must rest. I can- 
not help it; you must put up with me. Show me the house, 
inside. I should like to see it, inside." 

" There is nothing much to see," he said, as he led her to 
the drawing-room windows. " We have taken it furnished, of 
course. It belongs to an Englishman of taste : he has furnished 
it with very great care." Egon always began by trying to ignore 
the existence of curios, which most people, as he knew, perfunc- 
torily declare themselves anxious to examine. As a matter of 
fact, the villa contained the careful collectings of a wealthy and 
leisurely amateur. Egon had been enchanted with it at once, 
and spent long hours of solitude poring over its treasures. In 
the salon which they now entered, for instance, a bright room, 
all white and yellow, were to be found a couple of exquisite 
Florentine cabinets, some very good ebony furniture with graf- 
fiti, and a small but valuable collection of majolicas. Its chief 
beauty, however, was a Madonna and Child, white and blue 
glazed, over the mantelpiece, to which the Countess walked 
straight as she entered the room. 

" A della Robbia ! " she exclaimed. " Not genuine, surely ? 
Why, yes, it must be genuine." She turned to her host. " Luca, 
I am sure it is Luca. Monsieur de Roden, a Luca della Rob- 
bia, do you understand what that means? And you said there 
was nothing to see ! " 

"I did not know you would care," he answered with awk- 
ward pleasure. " There are one or two more things, if you like." 

" Let me look at this first," she said. " Is it not beautiful I 


beautiful I I hope you don't want to talk art jargon about it! " 

"What do you mean?" He laughed outright. 

" Oh, about its being in his later manner, and all that sort 
of thing I I can see that for myself, thanks ! We stayed a week 
at Florence on- our way here : that was very good of Signor 
Pini." (She had not mentioned her husband's name till now, 
except just at first, to excuse his absence.) " I had never seen 
a della Robbia before we went there, but some of his best work, 
I am told, is in Apulia. Have you ever travelled in those 

" No, I have never been south of Florence." 

" And I have been nowhere I But one can travel in books. 
It is second best. I have travelled all my life in books. Now 
show me the * faiences.' That surely isn't Italian, that ware 
with the metallic glitter over it? I never saw anything of the 
kind before." 

" That is Moorish — Spanish-Moorish, you know — Granada," 
he explained, delighted. In a moment they were busy over the 
plates and platters, thoroughly enjoying themselves, both. 

" I like this : I am very happy," she said, naively. " You 
must show me the remaining rooms some other day. I cannot 
endure seeing any more beautiful things in this one afternoon. 
Do not you dislike being rushed? What is this book on the 
table ? May I look at your book ? " She had already taken it 
up. " Leopardi ? You read modem Italian ? Leopardi ? " But 
before he could answer, she put down the book again. " No, do 
not let us talk literature," she said with decision. " We do not 
yet know each other sufficiently. Especially not for Leopardi." 

" They have put out the things on the terrace," he said, and 
so she walked out again, and sat down, and ate fruit. 

"You have a long drive back," he said. "Won't you be 
bored — such a long distance alone ? " 

" Je ne m'ennuie pas : on m'ennuie," she quoted, poising a 
purple fig between, finger and thimib. " I have lived too much 
alone, amongst others, not to enjoy being alone, by myself. You 
understand that? And, besides, one of my greatest pleasures 
— my chief pleasure — is being driven along, without companions, 
very fast. Signor Pini has been good to me about that: he 
has given me a pair of excellent ' Juckers'; they flash, like 
lightning, along the roads. Then, when we rush along thus, I 
lie back and sleep in the carriage, sleep waking, with waking 
dreams. It is then I have my best thoughts, wonderful, beau- 


tif 111 thoughts sometimes, that others would laugh at ! " Her 
eyes shone. " They come and they go : I could not remember. 
So much the better. Boats I detest. They creep till they give 
me the fidgets. I long to jump out and run across the slip- 
pery surface. Then I should go down, plump, and be drowned." 

"Yes, you would be drowned. Please do not jimip out of 
the boat, Madame." 

"I shall not. Signor Pini would be too sorry. Do you 
know, it is pleasant to think that! Now I am going home. 
Would you send for the carriage ? " 

But before it had come round, Dorothea and Konrad were 
seen driving up the hill-side. They arrived in high spirits over 
their excursion. The walk was beautiful, the view a thing to 
remember, and up yonder they had met the party from the Pal- 
azzo 'Arriet, a delightful surprise. 

" And did Lady Archibald find the distance not more than 
she could manage ? " queried the Countess, whose eyes had again 
grown indolent behind their transparent veil. " She was very 
afraid it would prove too far for her." 

"Well, she lagged behind a good deal on the way back," 
answered Dorothea. " But Konrad was very good-natured, and 
helped her along." 

" Ah, indeed ! " said Giulietta. " Well, I must most cer- 
tainly be going now. I have had a charming afternoon. Mon- 
sieur de Roden: it has been so good of youl Madame, I hope 
we shall see each other often — ^I wish it were nearer 1 But we 
can always put you up for the night. It is a barrack, the Pal- 
azzo. At least, there is room 1 " 

" Now, what do you think of her ? " demanded Dorothea, as 
the Countess Pini was carried swiftly away. 

" I think her charming," promptly responded Egon. 

"Yes, but, am I right? am I wrong? is she pretty?" 

" She is like an -^olian harp." 

" That is poetical, but not a reply." 

" As a matter of fact, I have never heard an ^olian harp, 
Dolly, but she is like one's idea of the thing. I believe they 
are unsatisfactory." 

" Then you think her unsatisfactory? " 

" Dolly, when you choose, you are painfully persistent. But 
of course you are interested in — ^how shall I call her? — ^the actual 
Mrs. Pini. Yes, I think her rather unsatisfactory." 

"So do I." 


"But intended, somehow and some day, to give very gn^at 

" I don't at all know what you mean, Egon." 

He laughed and kissed her. " Nor do I," he said. " At • 
least, not distinctly. We must go and see them as soon as we 
can. I wonder what she makes of Pini ? " 

"Money," replied Dorothea. "Jewels, dresses, horses, a 
Palazzo — ^that is what she makes out of Pini." 

"You women are always so harsh to each other. Now I-^ 
I wonder what she makes of Fini ! " 


Next day Dorothea was tired, and the horses also preferred 
to stay at home. So, in the morning, Konrad dozed over a 
novel, and in the afternoon, accompanying his sister-in-law, he 
yawned up the hill at the back of the little town, to the Fran- 
ciscan church and convent. He agreed that the groups in the 
chapels all the way up to the top were " hideous," and, once on 
the summit, he remarked that the view of the snow-clad Alps 
was beautiful. It was a pity there hung clouds over Monte 
Rosa. Was that Monte Rosa ? Yes, it was a pity there hung 
clouds over Monte Rosa. 

But it was not to say non-sweet nothings like this, that Kon- 
rad had obtained, through his uncle's assistance, the leave from 
his regiment, which had been in his thoughts all through the 
autumn manoeuvres. On the following morning, as it hap- 
pened, therefore, he had a note (it appears) from Lady Archi- 
bald to say that the Countess Pini had refused to go on an 
excursion, feeling certain that Madame de Roden would return 
her call in the afternoon. 

This hint being rather unwillingly taken, the trio from Bel- 
respiro turned up at the Palazzo 'Arriet — " Heriot," said the 
gilt letters on the gates, in accordance with the name of the 
late owner. This magnificent villa, which alas no longer exists, 
had such peculiarities as deserve more than a passing notice. 
Its gardens — ^by Gaiosi, of Milan — ^were noted for producing a 
maximum of color, in a minimum of green. Seen from the 
water they look like an enormous Niirnberger Leb-Kuchen, or 
as if the bottom had fallen out from a baby-giant's kaleidoscope 
in Mars. The long, thick house itself possessed, on the outside, 
every hue of brick and marble hitherto discovered or invented, 
every form of pillar, arch, gable, and turret that has figured in 
the habitation of man, laboriously compiled and put together 
by an eminent architect from London. What the inside would 
be like, you saw as soon as you entered, for a broad crimson 
velvet ledge, with fringes, ran down the banisters, along the 
monumental staircase. All the apartments were gilt and 
mosaic, with a good deal of plush, provided by Paris, and there 


was not a room in the mansion which did not immediately sug- 
gest an upholsterer's bill. 

About all this, of course, there was nothing remarkable. In 
fact, in our days, when wealth has become a vulgarity, the Pal- 
azzo 'Arriet was commonplace. 

But the house had another especial claim to distinction. 
From the beauty of its situation, and its size, it had been 
specially selected during many years as a fitting temporary resi- 
dence for royalty. Emperors and queens, exotic and Euroi)ean, 
had graced the great villa by their presence, and embellished 
it with their memory. The latter lingered about its name in 
the country side, as the odor which clings to a rose when 'tis 
rotten. By an irony of fate, the Palazzo 'Arriet was also known 
as the Villa Reale, thus blending in mystic absorption two 
extremes which, indeed, have now fused into one. But the 
glorified owner had done more than this. Tablets on the out- 
side walls, between all the windows, proclaimed, lettered in gold 
or white marble, the titles and virtues of the crowned splendors 
who had slept and died — aye, one had even condescended to die 
— here. Inside, all due worship continued, for this house was 
a temple of Royalty. Every bedroom contained the momentous 
marble inscriptions, recording what somebodies or nobodies had 
deigned to repose within its walls. 

This Chamber was occupied from April the 27th to the 

2nd of May, 1867, by 




"The Prince's Apartment." 

But over this modest slab was a larger and louder tablet : — 

On the 13th of November, 1879, 



being on a visit to her Imperial Cousin the Grand-Duchess 

Maria Ivanovna (at that time resident here), 


that it should henceforth be known as 
" Her Majesty's Room." 
Downstairs the subject was treated in a yet more person- 
ally interesting manner: — 

On THIS Sofa the Begum of Bhopal was wont to repose after Dinner 

and partake of a Cup of Black Coffee, which was served in the 

Sevres "tasse" now shown in the glass case above, which 

tasse had originally been given to the Proprietor's 

Grandmother by His late lamented Majesty 

Kino George the Third. 


Such particularization in the bedrooms might have led to 
comic effects it was highly desirable to avoid. The bedrooms, 
thcD, remained, in their tender and sacred reminiscences, beau- 
tifully vague. Only, each one of them still contained in a book- 
stand the few volumes once placed there by a pious hand. In 
every room, as you entered, you saw them: The Almanach de 
Gotha, two English "Peerages," the splendid Libro d'Oro of 
Italy, the Annuaire de la Noblesse, and of course, last and least, 
the Holy Bible, which teaches us respect of persons and also, 
most necessarily, tells us to honor the King. 

It is a lamentable thought that all this grandeur has now 
been swept away. For the creator of it all, dying a widower 
bereft of sons, in his bitterness decreed the useless destruction 
of the building. Only the sort of inner sanctuary is left stand- 
ing, which opened out of the central drawing-room, the small 
boudoir with the cupola, that contains all the busts and portraits 
ever made — and they were many — of the proprietor, his wife 
and sons. The ignorant peasantry believe the thing to be some 
kind of Protestant chapel : its doors are always locked, but you 
can see through the windows the work of " Timbs, R.A." They 
call it Sant 'Arrietta. Some day, perhaps, in the dim and cad- 
less future, the place will be discovered as the relic of a bygone 

In this chamber, when it was yet one of many, Giulietta re- 
ceived her visitors. 

" How kind of you to come so soon; I am glad that we hap- 
pen to be in 1 " She spoke innocently. Dorothea, mindful of 
the missive, naturally wrote her down at once for a person you 
could not trust. 

"Is not this a charming little room?" continued the Coun- 
tess Pini. "You see it has six large windows all around it." 
She turned to Egon. "It is the only room in the house, in 
which you can imagine yourself to be outside ! " 

The others laughed, although she was perfectly serious. 
Archie, who had strolled in, said : " That's an original joke. I 
must write it down." 

" How far have you got with your collection ? " questioned 
his cousin, Dorothea. 

" Why, you never.get far or near, that's the worst of it. Of 
course you can go on for ever. But I've three quarto volumes 
ready in manuscript of three hundred pages each." 

" For good fortune, you write very big! " remarked his wife. 


"Your writing, it sprawls like a griraffe that has suddenly sat 

"What do you know?" exclaimed Archie furiously; "you 
never stick your nose into any of my books ! " 

" Well, that is your fault. When last I would ask you how 
was your copy-books, you answered me : * Fool ! ' " 

" You misapprehended me," replied Archie gravely. " I said 

She looked at him as a wife never should, before strangers. 
" There was a time," she said, " when that was amusing. It is 
long ago." 

"Dickie I" 

" Also was there a time when it made me very angry " 

"Lady Archibald I" 

" — but that also is long ago. Come, Herr Konrad " — in Ger- 
man — ^^ on the terrace, and I will show you the * wunderschone ' 

Archie watched her out of sight, and then, turning suddenly 
to Dorothea: 

" Do whatever you like in a matrimonial way," he said, " only 
don't marry beneath you. It's the one practical joke that is 
bound to fail." 

In the awkward silence, Dorothea, to break it, answered : " I 
haven't much chance I " 

Archibald laughed boisterously. " Nonsense, you might still 
have a dozen chances," he said. He walked briskly beside hei 
up the long-drawn drawing-room. " When I was a little boy, I 
used to put cobbler's wax on people's chairs. Lord, I've put it 
on my own heart, and that woman's sat down on it I " 

" I am sure she is fond of you," said Dorothea kindly. 

He did not hear her. " I used to think, before I married my 
Kellnerin, that married life'd be all beer and skittles," he went 
on. " By George, I've found that it's all beer and skittishness." 

" Lady Archibald is very young," said Dorothea, feeling old; 
" but so are you. She is very bright." 

He stopped, look at her, and suddenly, speaking very fast: 

"You're a good woman, by Jove, something like what my 
mother was. I don't think I've seen a good woman since they 
turned me out at home. It was a beastly shame to turn me out ; 
I don't want to abuse the governor, but he ought to have 

accepted my wife. If he had, perhaps Dickie Never mind, 

it's no use now. Look here, I want to talk to you about it all; 
will you let me?" 


"Yes," said Dorothea. 

" Dickie doesn't behave as she ought to ; you can see that ; 
every one can see it. We're a sort of cousins, you and I. Shall 
we go and look at the roses ? I want you to take her up, to talk 
with her — ^be kind to her, Madame de Roden, make her good, 
like yourself. She hasn't had your bringing up. She's all alone 
and stupid, and I'm not the sort of fellow to help her." 

" But I don't quite understand," said Dorothea, much dis- 
tressed, among the pale autimm roses. " Surely you are mis- 
taken. Lady Archibald means no harm. Your influence " 

" My influence I " he burst in. " What am I but a tom-f ool ? 
When I speak seriously to her, she answers : * It is a pun ? ' — a 
* pon ' she calls it. * Go, crack your pon,' she said to me only 
this morning, with Konrad standing by, and I know that to 

him she calls me ' Cracky.' He taught her that, d him ; he 

taught her that ! " He hissed out the last words with a vehe- 
mence that changed his good-natured face, as a dog's kind feat- 
ures harden when it rises to growl at a foe. 

" I beg your pardon," he went on. " But I wish you would 
suggest to her somehow, as women can, to change her tone with 
gentlemen. There, I've said it. It's not a pleasant thing for 
a man to say. No joke, I can assure you." He gave a sad 
little laugh. 

" I will do all I can, of that I do assure you," said Dorothea 
gravely. "And, to begin with, I want you not to exaggerate 
anything. Remember, as you said, that your wife has had little 
education. Remember that we all marry — ^how says your Prayer 
Book? — for better, for worse." 

He ground his heel into a white " The Marechal " on the 
terrace. "It's a disgusting expression," he said, "I hate it. 
As well say at once that the whole thing's a toss-up." And as 
Pini came toward them at that moment. Lord Archibald walked 
bravely up the terrace, humming with a very loud hum; 

" Heads or tails, she's bound to win, 

Tommy Dodd, Tommy Doddl " 

"I am hoping," said Pini, with his usual bows and waves 
of the delicate fingers to and fro from his breast, " that Madame 
de Roden will do us the immense honor and favor of coming to 
dine here to-morrow, and stay over-night? Why not stay for 
a day or two? The distance is far too great for occasional 
visits. Your husband has already consented, madame — all our 
?;ope is now centred in you 1 " 


Archibald's appealing look drew the " yes " from Dorothea's 
lips, eveii while she realised that here was an opportunity, provi- 
dentially offered, of doing the good she desired. 

"We will go and tell them," cried Pini, perhaps really 
delighted. " See, they are over yonder, talking of many things 
that, frankly, do not interest me at all. So I came away to 
ask you. Dear Madame de Roden, I desire nothing better than 
that you should be a friend to my wife.'* 

On the way home Dorothea sang, as far as was reasonable, 
the praises of Archie, recalling his good-nature, his easy up- 
rightness, his general desire to do nobody any harm. 

" Oh, yes, he's not half bad," said Konrad, " so, to use his own 
manner of speaking, 'tis his better half that I prefer. But a 
man whose whole life is a quibble would madden the mildest of 

" !N'onsense, every hobby has its uses," put in Egon. " He 
told me that an eminent professor of philology had written to 
him, entreating him to bequeath his international library of 
humor to the British Museum. He was delighted at that. He 
almost wept at the idea of being humorously useful after his 

."He will be humorously useful before," answered Konrad 
savagely. " He belongs to the category of husbands that are ! " 


" Put up what I want, Hans," said Egon. 

" You want such a lot," replied Hans. 

" Well, people do." 

" They didn't when I was young," grumbled Hans. 

" Rubbish 1 You are not yet thirty." 

" Well, all I mean to say is, that a few years ago gentlemen 
could spend a couple of days with their friends without needing 
mountains of luggage." 

"All right. Don't forget my white ties, as you did last 

" I only forgot them once," said Hans. 

" Good Lord, did you want to get into the habit? The truth 
is, you are a very bad valet, Hans." 

" Thank you, sir," said the immovable servant, folding up 
trousers. " Would you mind telling me what you wish to take ?" 

"Again? Very well. This— and this ^' 

The servant dodged. " If you'd mind, sir, not shying it all 
over the place." 

" What made you come to me as valet ? " 

"What made you order me to come, sir?" 

" Well, for one thing, how ever did you get away from my 
uncle ? Tell me, Hans, I'm curious. What did he say ? " 

Hans stood to attention, with an ivory hair-brush in each 

" Well, it was in this way," he said. " There came a tele- 
gram to Rheyna one night from the Herr Graf at Berlin, and I 
was to start for the city next morning. I was a bit flurried, 
for I'd never been away from home before, excepting for my 
military service in Munster, and Munster isn't much of a city 
neither. There's too many houses in Berlin : that can't be right. 
God can't have intended men to put so many houses together, 
or He'd have made the country smaller. I wonder they who 
live in the middle don't choke." 

" Well, go on ; we can't alter that just now. And don't leave 
off packing." Egon threw some more things in a heap. 

" You're crumpling your shirts, sir," said Hans. " Well, up 


I came, and found the house on the Pariser platz, and it cost 
me a lot of trouble. I asked three different passers-by to tell 
me, and each of them told me wrong. The Berlin people may 
be very clever, but they don't know their right hand from their 
left." And Hans slapped a coat with much conviction. 

" That has always been a weakness with the inhabitants of 
great cities," said Egon, increasing, rather at haphazard, the pile 
on the floor. " You remember it was said of the population of 
Nineveh, Hans, in Jonah's time." 

" Jonah was the person that come out of the whale, sir?" 


" Well, no wonder that distracted the Nineveh's, sir, I saw 
many strange things in Berlin, but nothing quite as strange as 

" You found my imcle at last : what then ? " 

" Yes, I found him, in a very big room, in a very big chair, 
with a very big foot. He was very cross. I suppose, because 
he had the gout." 

" Or, perhaps, on account of this business of yours ? " 

" Or, perhaps, on account of this business of yours," replied 
Hans imperturbably. " He looked at me with a look that sent 
my heart into my mouth. * Art thou a fool or art thou not ? ' 
he says. Now, what could I answer? Of course, I am a fool, 
but I wouldn't tell my lord Count that." 

*^ Hullo I " cried Egon, turning from a cupboard, " you've got 
that wrong. Say it as you mean it, Hans ? " 

The servant grinned. " Of course I'm not a fool, but I 
couldn't tell my lord Count that I So ' I leave it to your Excel- 
lency, Herr Graf,' I said, very respectful like. ' No, thou shalt 

decide once for all,' he says " But here the man abruptly 

broke off, turning purple, as he bent over a pile of underwear. 
" So the story ends, and you see, I came here." 

" Ends I What do you mean ? How did you decide it ? " 

" By proving myself a ' d, idiotic, hopeless fool of a con- 
ceited idiot.' Those were his Excellency's own words, as I well 
remember. His Excellency spoke them very clearly, and I said : 
* Your Excellency, then, is content that an idiot should leave 
your service.' And so I came away." 

" But what was the question that " 

" If you wish me to get ready with the packing, I fear you . 
must leave me, sir." 

Egon, knowing that he would get nothing more out of the 


man, was moving towards the door, when the other immediately 
recalled him. 

" Begging your pardon, sir, but may I ask a question ? Is 
the French maid to go with us to the villa over there ? " 

" Of course she accompanies her mistress." 

" And is she to go back with us later to Germany ? " 


" So, then, she's a fixture in this family I Not a temporary 
thing, like an hotel." 

"I suppose not. We don't usually look upon our servants 
as temporary — ^till they go, Hans." 

The man stood still over his open portmanteau, and 
solemnly shook his head. 

"A Frenchwoman in a German family! — it isn't natural, 

Egon waited, suppressing all smiles. 

" You know what is best, sir, of course I " — ^this was spoken 
in a tone of perfect incredulity — " and I shouldn't venture to 
express an opinion, but I shouldn't like it to be known at Rheyna 
that we had a Frenchwoman living with us, like this." 

" How about my uncle's French cook ? " 

" A man in the kitchen isn't a maid in the parlor," replied 
Hans. "I have heard told, though of course you know these 
things better, that a Frenchwoman " — ^Hans voice dropped to a 
whisper — " who was with the late Empress Augusta, used to tell 
all Bismarck's secrets to the great !N'apoleon ! " 

" Well, we haven't any secrets here." 

" !N'oble families always have secrets. And it don't, as I say, 
seem natural, a Frenchwoman spying about the Rodens. I 
don't think his Majesty 'd like it, if he knew I " 

"His Majesty! Why not say at once that God in Heaven 
disapproves ? " 

" Well, the two are near each other," answered Hans sedately. 
" But his Majesty never made a Frenchwoman, and God did, so 
I think there's a difference there ! " 

Leaving Hans the last word, as he had done for a dozen 
years, Egon went in search of Konrad. It may be noted here 
that this master of course addressed his henchman as " thou," 
and that Hans, in his answers, would multiply titles, which 
natipnal characteristics, however, are better ignored where they 
cannot be given in the original. 

"Konrad, what did uncle Karl offer Hans to induce him to 
stay at Rheyna ? " 


Konrad lifted his lazy eyes off " Pot-Bouillg." " Why don't 
he tell you himself ? " said Konrad. " He is a fool, as uncle 
told him — ^too great a fool to know which side his hread is but- 
tered, and even too great a fool to tell you that he scraped off 
the butter for your sake." 

" So I thought. Yes, he is a fool, as you say." 

" Uncle Karl declared that his royal word was pledged, but 
that, of course, it might happen that the man refused to go. If 
he stayed, there also chanced to be a keeper's cottage open, and 
any of the girls on the place whom he liked to select, uncle Karl 
undertook should accept him. But Hans said he didn't want 
another wife, and uncle kicked him downstairs." 

" And across to me," said Egon. " How the poor old man 
must hate me." 

"Well, yes, he does," answered Konrad. "Have you ever 
read this? It's rather good. Lady Archie lent it me. She's 
taught herself a lot of French, she says, by working right 
through Zola." 

On his way back into the house, Egon met Dorothea. He 
stopped her. "You are sure you like to go to these people?", 
he asked. "Because you know, as I said before, there's no 
earthly reason why you should go and stay with Pini, unless 
you want to." 

" Yes, I should like to ; I should like to," she answered ner- 
vously. " I want to go very much, Egon." And she passed him 
rather hastily, in her painful resolution of going to speak with 

"Eh? — oh, ah, yes," said Konrad, glancing up again from 
his book. It would be wrong to say, that, in his courtesy, he 
looked bored. 

"Konrad, I want to speak to you about Lady Archibald." 
Dorothea was absurdly agitated: her color came and went. 

A quick spasm passed through Konrad's leaden face. " What 
of her?" he asked coldly. 

" I am sure she does not mean the slightest harm." 

" Of course not. Has she done any ? " 

"And, you see, she is very young." 

"I suppose she is, compared to you," said Konrad, but his 
sneer looked exactly like a smile. 

" And husbands are so unreasonable," said Dorothea, trying 
to be sprightly. 

" I am sorry, but not surprised, that you should find yours 



" And, I think, we must admit, Konrad that she has not quite 
our reserve, our education. She can't help it, i)oor thing, but 
she is a little — ^how shall one say? — outree, is she not? Don't 
you think, that we all ought to help her ? " 

"Would you tell me quite clearly what you mean to in- 
sinuate ? " There was a twang about the last word ; his nerves 
were beginning to vibrate under the strain of uncertainty, how 
much she knew or had guessed. 

She looked at him in amazement, and he quickly caught the 
look. She knew nothing, then : his annoyance relaxed. 

" I don't want to insinuate anything," said Dorothea. " All 
I want is to suggest quite openly, that we should all help Lady 
Archibald to assume her new position — ^to find her place. She 
must forget that she ever was a Biermadel. You men can help 
her much more than we." 

Konrad scowled. " My dear Dorothea, how good of you ! " 
he cried. "How kind you are I You women always see each 
others' shortcomings, so much more quickly, and it is so nice 
of you to try and improve your acquaintances. Yes, certainly. 
Lady Archibald must be made to accept her new position ! You 
are quite right ! I will help you all I can." 

She looked at him a little doubtfully, anxious to feel grateful. 

" Touche-la I " cried Konrad, holding out his hand. " You 
and I together, we must see what we can make of Lady Archi- 

Then she took his hand, and said : " Thank you," and went 
gravely indoors. 

A few hours later she was sitting in a gorgeous bedroom of 
the Palazzo 'Arriet (furnished entirely by Elderwood of Lon- 
don) — ^the "Pocahontas," as people called it, for, saith the in- 
scription over the portal: 

this tablet preserves the memory op the 

Indtan Princess Pocahontas, 

who died here of smallpox on her twentieth birthday. 

N, B. — The Apartment was thoroiighly Disinfected by Messrs. CoUings and 
CoUings, the weU-known Sanitary Engineers. 

Dorothea had chosen the room among several which Pini 
offered her : it possessed the finest view. 

"You are not, then, afraid?" exclaimed the astonished 
Italian, whose whole life was one mass of superstition, belief 
in the jettatura, in omens, amulets, card-lajdng, all a Neapoli- 
tan's dread of misfortune, and a gambler's chase after luck. 


"Afraid? No," replied Dorothea. " Not after CoUings and 

Her hostess, who, till now, had appeared pretty well to ignore 
her existence, seemed suddenly to hear what she said. " I like 
you," declared Giulietta. " You are not a fool." 

In this haunted chamber, then, sat Dorothea, having her hair 
dressed before dinner by Aurelie Bompard. Mademoiselle 
Aurelie was cheerfully impressed by once more finding herself, 
in this servants' hall of the palazzo, amongst what she consid- 
ered fitting surroundings. 

"The valet of Monsieur," said Aurelie, "remains ridiculously 
inadequate. It is painful to find oneself thus escorted amongst 

" He is such a good man," said Dorothea. 

" That, if Madame will pardon me, is not a desirable quality 
in a valet. I have known many, and of the most superior, but 
a good man among them was there none." 

" And how about maids ? " asked the mistress. 

"With maids it is different; women have always religion. 
They are not divided, like men. But a virtuous valet, or a 
virtuous cook — ^no, the thing is unreasonable I Good cookery, 
also, and religion, they do not go together. It is like a coach- 
man I If I were a great lady, I would not desire a coachman 
that stole not, nor a man-cook that drank not, nor a valet that 
did not make love." 

"But this poor fellow is a broken-hearted widower?" 

Mademoiselle Aurelie shrugged her shapely shoulders. " And 
that, is it not absurdest of all? For what else are the hearts 
of widowers broken but that they seek glue ? " 

" Aurelie, you should not talk like that : it is sinful." 

" Ah, the droll word I " Aurelie laughed merrily. " Pardon, 
but when Madame says * sinful,' I cannot but laugh. With us 
others it is the word of the cure only, and he says it, that we 
pay him, for penance. It is part of his stock-in-trade. To me 
it is, on Madame's lips, as if I heard her speak Latin, like in 

Dorothea gave a hopeless sigh, and (as constantly with Aure- 
lie) her thoughts reverted to Rebecca. 

"Madame is too good," continued the maid. "I love 
Madame so much I would almost permit myself to say it is a 
mistake to be so good, at least, in a Protestant I In our religion 
Madame would have gone into a cloister and been happy. That 
is the only way to keep oneself unspotted from the world." 


(Dorothea started involuntarily.) " But. now Madame will get 
speckled and spickled all over, and be miserable. To me it is 
as if I saw the soul of Madame, in a white satin dress and a long 
tail, dragging about the streets of Paris all under the omnibus 
dirt I" 

The maid's shrill voice had taken on a tone of real feeling. 
Almost tenderly she smoothed out the folds of Dorothea's dinner 

"I feel a responsibility towards Madame, for Monsieur le 
Colonel entrusted her to me," said Aurelie. " ' My daughter is 
like an angel from Heaven,' said the Colonel, * that fell out, with 
the 6thers, by mistake ! Look after her, thou who knowest the 
ways of the children of Lucifer.' But how can I ? " Mademoi- 
selle Bompard threw out both her hands to her mistress in open 
appeal. " Madame is to me like the dove in the ark, of which 
she read last Sunday. !N'o wonder it returned not, poor beast, 
when once it had escaped from that menagerie I " 

For Dorothea had undertaken laborious Sunday readings 
with Mademoiselle Bompard. A half -hour of early devotion was 
thus weekly endured, by the maid with amused toleration, by 
the mistress with unwilling fortitude. Dorothea was not of 
those who enjoy preaching to their neighbors or doing them good 
against their desire. And she realized to herself the unsatis- 
f actoriness of religious instruction, in which the teacher's chief 
hope was that the pupil should not listen, or, at any rate, not 
speak. For Mademoiselle Aurelie's shrewd suggestions were 
terribly disconcerting and often irresistibly comic. Dorothea, 
it must be admitted, had no active desire to convert her to 
Protestantism. But she had been startled out of her indiffer- 
ence as to her maid's spiritual condition by the discovery of 
abysses of ignorance such as would have been simply unthink- 
able at Brodryck. For, one morning, at Lugano, she had 
casually remarked: "You are as hard to convince as Sarah," 
and Mademoiselle Aurelie had answered : " C'etait une ancienne 
femme-de-chambre a Madame?" iNext Sunday Dorothea had 
seated herself down, with the smart, solemnized, twinky maid in 
front of her, and had read aloud the story of the Promise of 

" That sort of thing wouldn't suit our Parisiennes a bit," 
said Aurelie at the close, with great emphasis. She had sat 
listening, in an atmosphere of thoughtful silence that terrified 
her mistress, through half-a-dozen faltering remarks by the lat- 
ter on the late reward of Abraham's faith. "Heavens, they 


oould never be sure they were safe 1 Poor — ^what was her name ? 
— Sarah ; it certainly was hard on her. But there, men always 
look at these matters from their selfish point of view." 

Whatever Dorothea did Aurelie's standpoint remained the 
same : " Elle est trop bonne. Je suis inquiete." This she re- 
peated over and over again in the letters she wrote herself of 
evenings, when waiting up. For this discreetest of maids, in 
her need of expansion and her fixed resolve not to trust any 
secrets to correspondence or even to diaries, wrote herself nightly 
pages of letters about all the private affairs of her families, and 
tore them up invariably before blowing out her candle. " Ca me 
soulage," she said. 

On this first evening of her stay at the Palazzo 'Arriet she 
wrote, among other things : " Of one thing I am secure : for 
the present we are safe. And, after all, I have obtained my 
object, which was to be free in the future from feminine 
intrigues. Ah, what have I not seen of these latter I Of them 
I am utterly weary. And, if Dorothea live to be sixty and 
beautiful as !N'inon, she will never make love, the dear one, where 
priests sing not chorus: Amen I That is the essential. And 
I am too old (thirty) for further emotions. As for Egon, he 
will of course do as all men in time, but for that I care not, 
nor will she, if I am there to advise her. I have never seen man 
that was otherwise, in our world, excepting the little Duque d' 
Ijisqua, and his marriage was declared void in the Court of 
Home I 

" The little Italian is not as sleepy as she looks. 

" As for Konrad and the Kellnerin, je m'en fiche." 

While the maid sat thus penning ephemeral wisdom upstairs, 
the mistress moved about the drawing-room and tried to be 
happy. Dorothea was annoyed with herself for not enjoying 
her surroundings, nor did she realize, as Aur^lie could have told, 
that her discomfort was caused by the succession of spots which 
splashed from the conversation around her across a soul whose 
home-nurtured innocence only dogma disproved. Konrad and 
the Biermadel chose, for reasons of their own, to be outrageous, 
in German, telling stories of their common acquaintances, which 
proved them to be common indeed. Egon could only kick his 
brother under the table, nor could be even do that, for, having 
mistaken his leg, he inflicted continuous punishment upon 
Archie, who did not understand German, and lived under the 
impression that his wife's uproarious laughter was aimed at him- 
self. At last came a specially bold anecdote, a specially loud 


peal, and an extra hard kick; then the lon^r-suffering Archie 
protested: ^I say/' he demanded, ^^ who's kicking me? Shut 

^ I kicked," began Egon desperately; but he stopped, for the 
story had beoi Lady Archibald's. 

^One at a time, please," said poor Archie, with a fierce 
scowl at Konrad. The boy would have joked on the rack. 

As for Pini, he enjoyed eating his dinner and paying pretty 
compliments. Giulietta contemned every duty of a hostess, 
lying about on sofas and waking to occasional animated scraps 
of conversation about individual subjects with favorites few 
and far between. 

In the smoking-room Egon walked up to Konrad. ^ I wish 
you would avoid saying things you might know my wife doesn't 
like to hear!" 

Konrad looked at him, smiling. ^Yery natural," he 
answered, ^ and I hope that you'll always avoid doing them." 

" What do you mean? Do you mean anything? " 

^ No, oh, no. Fine woman, Giulietta ! She seems to have 
taken a fancy to you." 

^'Yes, she is handsome," said Egon. 

Their host come between them. ^'If there is one thing I 
regret," said Pini, ^it is that I never learnt German. A 
language abounding in good stories, it appears! Many of 
them, I presume, cannot bear translating? Eh? like Lord 
Archibald's ^ pons'?" He turned inquiringly to Konrad, who 
colored at the lesson. 

^' Let us sit down," continued the courteous Italian quickly. 
^Yes, my dear Hoden, the house is good enough. Giulietta 
dislikes it, but that is a pretty woman's whim. To me it is 
singularly appropriate : it represents the money of to-day I " 

"How do you mean?" questioned Egon. 

"Well, the Borromean islands, for instance; they represent 
the money of yesterday — a Paradise of art and nature, erected, 
as you know, on bare rocks by princes whose every thought was 
princely. Nowadays, of course, we have the Palazzo 'Arriet. 
It is very comfortable. The drainage is absolutely perfect. 
As for the mon^ of to-morrow, there will be nothing left to 
buy with it, now that beauty is dead and comfort is cheapen- 
ing fast. Pray God in the future there may be no money I " 

"What, you say that!" cried Archie. "You a Socialist? 
By gum!" 

Pini looked at him, indifferently. "We are all Socialists 


nowadays," said the old man; " that is to say, we all want those 
who have more than we to have less, and those who have less 
than we to get more, without any inconvenience to ourselves. 
Yes, we all feel that would he better. And we all know that 
money is a curse. But I — ^I was a Socialist at twenty. I have 
been poor all my life. I loathe money." 

The three young men stared at him incredulously. 

^ Do not stare at me like that," said Fini irritably, and he 
poured himself out a thimbleful of green Chartreuse. ^^It is 
true. I have been poor all my life, after twenty early years 
of luxury — ^what care I? Nothing. I had lost money for a 
good cause: I was glad. I have gained it now also in a good 
cause : it is well I " 

^' A good cause ? " enquired Konrad, with his faintly sneer* 
ing smile. 

**I will tell you, if you care," continued Pini, addressing 
Egon. ^' Ah, Santa Madre ! " and suddenly he seemed to drop 
into the tone he had used before fortune favored him. '^But 
no, you are Protestants all! — amazing fact; my house is full 
of Protestants, and with you it is faith, not works I I, when 
I settled myself to give lessons in Nice — it was Monte Carlo, 
Monte Carlo, with my pupils from morning to night. Within 
me awoke, I will admit it, the gambling instinct that sleeps 
in all our blood. But it was not that only, not chiefly — ^the 
obsession came upon me to discover the great secret, to conquer 
the place! I played not; I but went to study. In my spare 
time — ahime, there was enough of it I — ^in the night-time did 
I ever reflect, reflect! Daily I prayed to the Virgin, to the 
saints ! I lit candles ! — ^but, no, you would not understand ! The 
candles were small and rare, Santa Madre ! but thou tookest the 
widow's mite ! " 

He sank his fine old face on his breast in a x)ose which would 
have been purely reverent but for an admixture of elegance, 
that yet certainly was not affectation. 

^ Well, after many years of hard labor and hope — ^f aith with 
works, as our Holy Church enjoins — ^I am almost successful. 
I am returning to complete my task. There is still always the 
small risk of the ten — ^it will go," he cried aloud with sudden 
energy, "it will go! Then, when the system is complete, I 
shall have gained my object in view." He looked from one 
young man to the other. Egon was interested, Konrad amused, 
Archie asleep. 

"I will make no secret. Why should I?" He spoke in a 


burst of after-dinner expansiveness. ^*I haye gained, not the 
fabulous sums that were named in the news|)tapers, but a couple 
of hundred thousand francs. Well, that is enough for a season, 
enough to spend here I But now I am returning for the final 
combat. If I conquer, when I have gained enough for this wife 
of mine, enough for definite luxury — a fortune for both of us, 
then — ^I make known my secret to the world I " 

He had risen, flinging his cigarette on to the wood fire. The 
three men stared at him. Archie had woke up. 

"!N'everI" cried Archibald. "You'd make a company, 
organize capital, gain millions, stop the place! But you can 
get millions out of 'em before they shut up shop," 

" Yes, I shall stop the place I " answered Pini, his eyes fixed 
thoughtfully on the lamp. " When my system is perfect, I give 
it to the world. It is thus I can pray to the Virgin. She 
helpeth not a gambler; niente afFatto. She helpeth a philan- 
thropist. In a year, by her aid, I shall have destroyed Monte 
Carlo. Only the ten still remains." 

He held open the door, and, again addressing Egon only: 
"Shall we join the ladies? Meanwhile my life is a curse to 
me. Even here they have found me — ^the endless besiegers, re- 
porters, fortune-hunters, beggars — ^never am I at rest I Yonder, 
at Monte Carlo, it was frightful. In self-defence I shall tell 
them my secret, when I have it, and then there will be no more 
roulette I " 

"Just so," said Konrad, looking up. "There will be the 
more trente et quarante." 

"I do not think so," said Pini, annoyed. 

" They will lower it to ^Ye francs at once." 

" They will never get the masses to play trente et quarante," 
answered Pini, quickly disappearing towards the staircase. 
Konrad vexed him. When a man displays an honest ambition, 
only the cruel or the silly disturb his dreams. It is in the 
power of none of us to do well: at least let us honor the few 
who occasionally want to. 

The ladies were scattered over the too large drawing-room 
and the dusk-hid terrace. It is noticeable that when the sexes 
separate after dinner, the men's tongues grow looser, while the 
women's lag. The reason is not hard to discover. For men, 
when not intimate, have always one subject in common : women. 
But women, unless intimate, cannot discuss men. 

Giulietta, after one glance around, had curled herself up 
on a sofa. A couple of insignificant Italian cousins, poor re- 


lations, with jewelry, sat at a side-table, playing a !N'eapolitan 
card-game. Lady Archibald had gone out on to the terrace, 
and stood yawning, in the soft star-bespangled night. 

Then Dorothea seized hold of her beating heart in both her 
hands, and pressed it hard. 

A moment later she was out on the terrace, in the rich 
Southern odor of roses and oranges, with the play of the great 
cool lake, amid its thousand lights, beneath. 

"Lady Archibald," she said. 

"Ah? Are you there? Dear me, I thought it was Giuli- 
etta. Come out of that big gaunt room, my dearest Madame 
von Roden. Is it not beautiful? See, that is Pallanza yonder." 

Dorothea stood silent, praying for wisdom. 

"You do not care for Pallanza? Well, nor do I. But we 
must try to amuse ourselves until the men come back." 

" Lady Archibald '' 

" Yes, that is my name, dear Madame von Roden. It used 
to amuse me immensely at first. But I have got used to it, even 
as to all things, even as to Archie." 

"What a good fellow he is, so kind-hearted, and he seems 
devoted to you." 

" Eh ? — ^yes. You are a iind of cousin of his, are you not ? 
Then why don't you call me ' Dickie,' so I could call you 'Dol' ?" 

" I will, if you like," said Dorothea, mentally shuddering. 

"Oh, I don't mind. I am glad you like Archie. Poor 
Archie I" 

"Why poor Archie?" 

" I'm sure I don't know, if you don't." 

"Well, I think I do know. I don't think he seems happy. 
I am sure he loves you very much, Lady — ^Dickie. You alone 
can make him happy, and you alone can make him miserable.'^ 

"How interesting," said Dickie. 

" It is a terrible responsibility for us women, don't you think 
so?" continued Dorothea timidly. "When our husbands love 
us, we hold the whole of their happiness in the hollows of our 

" Don't you think that is a little — outre ? " said Lady Archi- 
bald meaningly, but the shaft missed fire. 

" And I think it ought to make us very careful, don't you ? 
Especially in our intercourse with other men. Often, when we 
mean nothing, these silly, jealous husbands are perfectly miser- 
able. There was a man lived in our neighborhood whose wife 
used to attract all sorts of attention. Too much, I admit. He 


never complained to her, they say, and one day he shot himself.'^ 

"Don't you think that was rather — outre?" said Lady 
Archibald. She stood by the balustrade, immensely interested 
in the far lights of Pallanza. No, that cannot have been a 
ripple in her throat. It must have been a rustle through the 
orange trees. 

Dorothea paused, vaguely disconcerted. 

" You do not like flirtations, then ? " asked Dickie. 

" No, they would not amuse me, if meaningless " 


Dorothea flushed crimson in the half-light. "And other 
than meaningless," she added almost haughtily, "I cannot 
imagine their occurring I " 

Lady Archibald slapped her soundly on the nearest bare 
shoulder. "Right you are, old girl," she said (in equivalent 
German), "I like to see you riled. It does me good. Fire 
away, Doll I Teach your poor cousin what's what! Give her 
lessons in virtue. Tell her she must forget that she ever was 
a Biermadel. Help her to assume her natural place 1 " 

The references thus poured down on Dorothea's head could 
no longer miss hitting her in the face. She understood that 
her whole conversation with Konrad had, through him, reached 
the woman she was burning to help. She drew herself up, and 
it seemed to the rather frightened Dickie that, as she expressed 
it afterwards, the creature began to grow. 

" Shall we go in ? " said Dorothea. " That is Egon singing. 
The men have come back." In the dark beside the blaze of the 
window, she stopped. "Do not misunderstand me," she said 
earnestly. " I was thinking of Archibald's happiness only, and 

Egon was singing " O voi, che entrate I " 

Pini, on entering the room, had gone up to his wife and 
entreated her to sing. Lying back, in her odalisque poae, she 
had excused herself; and, when he persisted: 

" Mio amico," she said, " I will do what thou wilt. My one 
pleasure is to please thee: thou art good to me. But see — 
do not ask me to sing : there is no one that cares 1 Last night, 
when I sang, they talked on: they made noises. The cousins 
mixed their cards, the lovers hissed on the terrace, the poor 
husband snored ! " 

He would have protested, but she stopped him. 

"Thou? Oh, I know thou art most courteous. But thou 


hearest not false notes — ^I have tried! And thou thinkest of 
thy system — ^always 1" 

Konrad, who had been watching them, drew near. 
" Countess," he said, "why don't you ask my brother to sing? " 

" He sings, your brother I " She opened her eyes wide, and 
her languid limbs seemed to harden. 

"You just try him." 

She lifted herself, with a shake, like a dog's, and beckoned 
to Egon. "Monsieur de Koden," she said, "you sing?" 

"Yes, I sing." 

" Well ? " she asked, with a mocking look in her eyes. 

" Better than anybody I ever heard," called Archie from the 
depths of his easy chair, which was rather nice of Archie, for 
he had been in Giulietta's memory when she scornfully asked, 
"Well?" Archibald sang comic songs with much pantomime 
and little voice, and, the other night, after having asked him, 
she had walked away on to the terrace. She had the grace to 
give as explanation excess of laughter, and he the wit not to 
believe her, but she never asked him again. 

" What will you, my love ? " she said to the protesting Pini. 
" I have nerves, I cannot help it. And, besides, to me, art, of 
the humblest, is a sacred thing which I will not profane. Not 
even in this house, whose sheer existence profanes it daily. A 
house like this, on this site, it is like a caricature of the Vir- 
gin, in the cathedral at Milan I " 

"Hush, hush; she will hear thee I" cried Pini, alarmed. 

Giulietta shrugged her shoulders. " Xay, she hears me not. 
As I know." 

When the first notes of " Oh voi che entrate " rose in the 
lofty drawing-room, the Countess Pini, who had sunk back 
among her cushions, raised her little head erect. In another 
moment she had lifted her lithe frame, and hung poised. As 
the singing continued, she rose noiselessly to her feet, bending 
slightly forwards, breathless. 

Dorothea, in the opening of the window, against the shadows 
of the terrace and the blackness beyond, stood watching her. 
To the singer's wife occurred the sudden picture of a 8eri)ent, 
fascinated by music, and her heart glowed with a fresh impulse 
of pride in the song. 

When the last note died away, the Italian went swiftly to 
the piano. 

" Yes, you sing," she said, and after a moment added, " I 
say not with Lord Archibald, for I have heard singing as good. 


perhaps better — cleverer. But, see, you have the true emotions 
in that beautiful voice I " 

"Will you sing us some more?" It was palpable to all 
present, who cared, that this passionate creature was seeking 
to hide her agitation. He took up a pretty G^erman thing: 
"Voglein, wohin so schnell?" and placed it before him, but 
she snatched it away with a movement certainly more violent 
than she had intended; it escaped from her fingers and fiew, 
rustling, across the floor. 

" Italian I Italian 1 " she said. He obeyed with a Neapoli- 
tan country-song. "Yes," she said, when it was over, "yes. 
But it wants a Neapolitan peasant, who doesn't sing as well as 
you, to sing Neapolitan songs. Or a fisherman from Santa 
Lucia, eh, Bartolommeo ? Sing * Oh voi che entrate I ' again ! " 

And again the words rose in the listening silence of the 
great saloon:. 

" Oh voi che entrate nel Paradiso d'Amore ! " 

" Now, thou also, Giulietta, thou must show what thou canst 
do," said her husband. 

"I? I can do nothing. I cannot sing." 

" Ta, ta, ta 1 Thou canst sing well enough." 

She turned on him with a scream. "I cannot sing I Lai 
I cannot sing I " And she swept up the far length of the room. 

He followed her with insinuating " empressement," and 
spoke in a voice that was almost audible to their guests : 

" The Countess Pini will remember the first rules of Italian 

She faced round, passed him, straight to the piano, sat down 
and began: 

" A Roma s'6 scoperta 'na fontana, 
Che a dodici cannelle Tacqua vera, 
Dice che Tammalati li risana . . . 
lo rho bevuta, e Tho fatta la prova, 
Perle pene d'amor Facqua non giova; 
lo The bevuta, e la prova Pho fatta. 
Per le pene d'amor non giova Tacqua." 

She rose from the instrument, speaking to Egon: 
" E un canto popolare Marchigiano. Parla Italian© ? Ah, 
perche non Tha detto? It is the single language which speaks 
itself ; in all others one only can say things ! " 

Dorothea, who had seated herself on a couch by the window, 
watched them as they bent together over the music, discussing 


and comparing. Presently they happed on a duet well known 
to both, and sang it eagerly. They tried something else; they 
had forgotten all surrounders; Giulietta's eyes sparkled; her 
cheeks were aflame. 

Dorothea rose brusquely and went out again on to the ter- 
race, into the cool darkness of the stars. Quite a new sensation 
had suddenly awakened in her heart — ^jealousy. Not, certainly, 
doubt of her husband or of Giulietta — ^that were an absolute 
absurdity — ^but pain that another woman should thus interest 
and please him. 

" Contemptible ! " she said to herself aloud, in the stillness, 
and she struck her own heart, as a glove is dashed in the face 
of a craven. She went back to the music and, see ! Lady Archi- 
bald barred her patch, emerging abruptly from among the 

" Forgive me ! " gasped Lord Archibald's wife. " And — 
and pray for me! There, don't say anything, please. If you 
didn't hear what I said, so much the better. How well your 
husband sings ! " 

Dorothea would have put out her arm around the other's 
neck, but Lady Archibald drew back. 

" That is Pallanza over yonder I " said Lady Archibald 
tremulously. "Don't think of what I said. Archie, come 
then, and sit with me on the terrace 1 " 

"It's too cold," answered Archie in sleepy tones. 

Lady Archibald stamped her foot on the terrace tiles. 

"How ungallant you husbands are!" Konrad's voice was 
heard saying. His step drew nearer. 

" Fate is fate," whispered Lady Archibald as the two women 
passed into the room together. "Archie, thou art what thou 
dost call the others — a mitten — ^no, what say you ? — a muff ! " 

"I'll come, if you like," replied her husband. 

"!N'ay, we will stay here. We will listen to the songs." 


" The weather is perfect. You miist go," said "Egon, early 
next momingy as he drew aside the window curtains of the 
Pocahontas chamber. 

" They are all going," he added. " I should be very sorry 
if you stopped at home for me." 

Dorothea lifted her head. " And I should be so glad," she 

"Why? Don't you want to go?" 

She hesitated a moment. "Nonsense," continued her hus- 
band quickly. " The view from the Motterone must be splen- 
did. I'm sure you can manage it." He sighed. ^^I wish I 

" I do not want to go," said Dorothea. 

He stood looking at her for a moment : then he drew up her 
chin towards his face and kissed her. "No," he said, "that 
would never, never do. It is bad enough, Dorothea. You 
would make it hurt more than I could bear." And he limped 
away into his dressing-room. 

Immediately after breakfast all prepared to start. The 
Monte Motterone rises behind the Villa 'Arriet, a long-drawn 
but nowise arduous climb. Signer Pini had a donkey; the 
others walked; 

Waiting out on the terrace, Konrad von Koden drew his 
elder brother aside. "I heard from the Head last night," he 

"Indeed?" Egon broke off a branch of myrtle. 

"Well, he can't manage about the entail. I congratulate 
you. You can imagine what a state he's in! His whole let- 
ter's one mass of swears." 

"I can hardly believe that," said Egon. 

" The writing is," said Konrad. " I can see it. All the 
dashes of the t's and the dots on the i's are swears." 

Egon only laughed. 

" You may well laugh. He's just got the Imperial consent 
to a single alteration, the abolition of the clause about not 
marrying within a year. When he dies, lots must be cast be- 


tween the married nephews, but I may marry at once, if I like." 
He waited, but Egon did not speak. 

^' Only you, as next heir, must consent to the alteration. A 
prohibition to marry is always immoral, say the powers that be, 
but the next heir's acquired rights cannot be touched without 
his consent. You understand ? " 

" Perfectly," replied Egon. " Were you wanting to marry ?" 

" Not in the least. Like most of us, I was wanting not to. 
StiU ^" 


" Sooner or later, there always comes some reason which 
makes us want to want. Now the earldom of Rheyna ^^ 


"Is safely yours as long as I remain unmarried. And, as 
things now stand, I can't marry within a year of our father's 

" In no case, surely, would it be decent — ^" 

Konrad swayed round, with a fierce scowl. "It was decent 
enough just before," he said. "Had you waited a couple of 
months, the chances would have been equal for all three." 

" You may marry to-morrow for all I care," answered Egon 
hotly. " The whole thing is to me disgusting in the extreme." 

Konrad smiled. "Perhaps you wouldn't mind writing to 
the Emperor," he sneered, " and signifying your willingness to 
cut off every form of entail ? " 

" No, by George ! " exclaimed Egon. " I've as much right 
to the thing as you. More, being the eldest. I won't stand 
being accused of taking a mean advantage, but I'll stick to my 
honest rights." 

" Then you won't consent to abolish the marriage prohib- 

"Konrad, you and I never seem able to understand each 
other. I'll consent to alter everything except the casting of 

Konrad gave an audible gasp of relief. "Write to uncle 
Karl then, and tell him so," he said quickly. " * Ask the — ^h'm 
— ^him I shall not,^ says uncle Karl with a big damn — dash, I 
mean — over the t," 

"I will write," answered Egon, "but I cannot, for the life 
of me, see the great importance of the matter. Uncle Karl is 
not ill; you are not even engaged. In a few months you will 
be quite free to marry — ^however, never mind." 

" You would see the importance fast enough, if you were in 


peal, and an extra hard kick; then the long-suffering Archie 
protested: "I say," he demanded, "who's kicking me? Shut 

" I kicked," began Egon desperately ; but he stopi)ed, for the 
story had been Lady Archibald's. 

" One at a time, please," said poor Archie, with a fierce 
scowl at Konrad. The boy would have joked on the rack. 

As for Pini, he enjoyed eating his dinner and paying pretty 
compliments. Giulietta contemned every duty of a hostess, 
lying about on sofas and waking to occasional animated scraps 
of conversation about individual subjects with favorites few 
and far between. 

In the smoking-room Egon walked up to Konrad. " I wish 
you would avoid saying things you might know my wife doesn't 
like to hear I " 

Konrad looked at him, smiling. "Very natural," he 
answered, " and I hope that you'll always avoid doing them." 

" What do you mean ? Do you mean anything ? " 

"No, oh, no. Fine woman, Giulietta! She seems to have 
taken a fancy to you." 

"Yes, she is handsome," said Egon. 

Their host come between them. "If there is one thing I 
regret," said Pini, "it is that I never learnt German. A 
language abounding in good stories, it appears! Many of 
them, I presume, cannot bear translating ? Eh ? Like Lord 
Archibald's 'pons'?" He turned inquiringly to Konrad, who 
colored at the lesson. 

" Let us sit down," continued the courteous Italian quickly. 
"Yes, my dear Eoden, the house is good enough. Giulietta 
dislikes it, but that is a pretty woman's whim. To me it is 
singularly appropriate : it represents the money of to-day ! " 

"How do you mean?" questioned Egon. 

" Well, the Borromean islands, for instance ; they represent 
the money of yesterday — a Paradise of art and nature, erected, 
as you know, on bare rocks by princes whose every thought was 
princely. Nowadays, of course, we have the Palazzo 'Arriet. 
It is very comfortable. The drainage is absolutely perfect. 
As for the money of to-morrow, there will be nothing left to 
buy with it, now that beauty is dead and comfort is cheapen- 
ing fast. Pray God in the future there may be no money I " 

"What, you say that!" cried Archie. "You a Socialist? 
By gum!" 

Pini looked at him, indifferently. "We are all Socialists 


nowadays," said the old man ; " that is to say, we all want those 
who have more than we to have less, and those who have less 
than we to get more, without any inconvenience to ourselves. 
Yes, we all feel that would be better. And we all know that 
money is a curse. But I — ^I was a Socialist at twenty. I have 
been poor all my life. I loathe money." 

The three young men stared at him incredulously. 

" Do not stare at me like that," said Pini irritably, and he 
poured himself out a thimbleful of green Chartreuse. "It is 
true. I have been poor all my life, after twenty early years 
of luxury — ^what care I? Nothing. I had lost money for a 
good cause: I was glad. I have gained it now also in a good 
cause : it is well 1 " 

" A good cause ? " enquired Konrad, with his faintly sneer* 
ing smile. 

"I will tell you, if you care," continued Pini, addressing 
Egon. " Ah, Santa Madre I " and suddenly he seemed to drop 
into the tone he had used before fortune favored him. " But 
no, you are Protestants all! — amazing fact; my house is full 
of Protestants, and with you it is faith, not works 1 I, when 
I settled myself to give lessons in Nice — ^it was Monte Carlo, 
Monte Carlo, with my pupils from morning to night. Within 
me awoke, I will admit it, the gambling instinct that sleeps 
in all our blood. But it was not that only, not chiefly — ^the 
obsession came upon me to discover the great secret, to conquer 
the place! I played not; I but went to study. In my spare 
time — ahime, there was enough of it! — in the night-time did 
I ever reflect, reflect! Daily I prayed to the Virgin, to the 
saints ! I lit candles ! — ^but, no, you would not understand ! The 
candles were small and rare, Santa Madre I but thou tookest the 
widow's mite ! " 

He sank his fine old face on his breast in a pose which would 
have been purely reverent but for an admixture of elegance, 
that yet certainly was not affectation. 

" Well, after many years of hard labor and hope — ^f aith with 
works, as our Holy Church enjoins — ^I am almost successful. 
I am returning to complete my task. There is still always the 
small risk of the ten — ^it will go," he cried aloud with sudden 
energy, "it will go! Then, when the system is complete, I 
shall have gained my object in view." He looked from one 
young man to the other. Egon was interested, Konrad amused, 
Archie asleep, 

" I will make no secret. Why should I ? " He spoke in a 


" When not wanted by yourself," replied Giulietta laiifirhing. 
"The article id interesting: it treats of the role played by 
women in the liberation of Italy. Pini told me to read it. Not 
that I care about political women as a rule. There was another, 
a few months ago, by the same man, on the part taken by women 
in the renascence. That appealed to me. The part played by 
women in the renascence. Think of it I" She got up and 
came towards him, her big eyes shining. " That men should 
say: Thou art dead; thou wert a woman. Thou hast helped 
to make the world's life — ^not better, that is foolishness; the 
world never grows better or wiser — ^but more beautiful than it 
was before I " She went straight past him, with the full glow 
of her gaze upon him, yet not looking into his eyes. At the 
door she turned. "You thought I could not sit silent, while 
you were working," she said lightly. " You know me so little. 
It is my ideal, to be X)oor, decently poor, nothing squalid, and 
to sit with my needlework in a comer, while my husband earns 
bread for both by making some beautiful thing. I, too, should 
work hard, in my comer. For the home. Come, Signor Egon. 
let us go and sing duets. One never attains one ideal. It is 
lucky. After luncheon I shall take you a long, a very long, 
drive. Away into the Domo d' Ossola country." 

After luncheon, then, they started early, Egon driving a 
light-colored, four-wheeled country cart, with a groom behind 

"You like my husband," said Giulietta, as they dashed 
briskly across the plain. "I am anxious you should like my 
husband. You cannot think how good he is. He has suffered. 
He is full of generous instincts. I adore Bartolommeo." 

Egon mumbled perfunctory politeness; not even the sig- 
nore's specious vindications could reconcile him to the gambling 

" You do not appreciate him," said Guilietta angrily. " He 
is worth half a dozen cold-blooded young men of to-day." Then, 
fearing she had spoken discourteously : " How well you drive I '* 
she said. " Is riding quite impossible ? " 

" Quite," he said shortly. " Thanks." And the thanks were 
for the tone of her voice. 

" Surely, I should think," she began. " I have an idea that 

" She stopped dead. " No I " she said, as if keeping back 

words she was desirous but unable to utter. "As for me, I 
have never driven or ridden. I fear horses ; they are so strong, 


and so afraid. Strength should be cabn. Your wife, I suppose 
^he does all these things well ? " 

" Dorothea can ride and drive." 

"And bicycle, and play tennis?" 

"Yes, she can do all these things. None of them to any 
superlative degree of excellence." 

Giulietta sighed. "Also she can paint," she said. Egon 
was silent. " I — ^I can do nothing of all this. I can only sing." 

"You sing superbly." 

" Well, so do you. I need only return the compliment. You 
must think me very ignorant ? " 

There was so much question in her accent that Egon could 
not ignore it. "You walk better than any woman rides," he 
said unwillingly, but feeling, in his naive wisdom, as if he were 
comforting a child. " I am sure you dance to perfection." 

"Ah, I adore dancing! We must get up a dance to-night; 
we must waltz I " 

An awkward silence sank between them. " No, we shall not 
dance," said Giulietta, and her voice trembled. " The others 
will be too tired." 

" Look at that pretty little goatherd I " answered Egon, 
touching up one of the horses. 

"He is like one of our Neapolitan children; only a trifle 
better dressed. What a quick eye you have for beauty I No 
wonder that you married a beautiful wife." 

Did she mean her words? Surely every one must admit a 
considerable amount of good looks in Dorothea. 

"I am glad you admire her," he said. "If you want me 
to like your husband, well, I want you to like my wife." 

"Why?" she said quickly. 

For the life of him, he could not have spoken a satisfactory 
reply. " I want everybody to like Dorothea," he said. " She 
has need of friends." 

" Thank you." He could see she was offended. She made 
few remarks, chiefly about the landscape, as they neared their 
destination, the Cavalduna waterfall. 

" It is a long drive. I am tired," she said, as she seated her- 
self by a shaky table outside the little osteria. " Let us have a 
bicchiere of their country wine." 

" By all means. Will you not sit here? " 

" I am very well as I am," she answered impatiently. 

" But you are turning your back on the fountain you came 
to see." 


" I know. When I am tired, I cannot enjoy things. I feel, 
in the whole world, like a violin in an orchestra. It is no use 
letting yourself be played on as long as you're out of tune." 

" And who tunes you ? " he queried, amused. 

She stared him straight in the face. '^ Men," she said. She 
laughed merrily. ^'And women. And. little digestible dishes. 
And, above all, the sun." 

The polite innkeeper brought his thin red vintage. He cast 
appreciative glances at the smart equipage, a hundred paces 
off, under the olive trees. 

^' Bring wine to the groom also," said Giulietta. 

"With pleasure, Eccellenza." 

" I," continued the Countess Pini, " I could live in harmony 
with all things, if only I might leave untouched what appeals 
not to my heart. I have a big, big heart. Monsieur de Roden." 

"I know," he said shamefacedly. "You 8topx)ed at home 
this morning for my sake, that I might not be lonely. You are 
taking me this beautiful drive, which is too far for you ^" 

" Nonsense. You speak foolishness." 

" And I am very deeply grateful." 

She paused, with the "bicchiere" half way to her lips. 
" You are quite mistaken," she said steadily. " I dislike these 
long mountain climbs. And the Cavaldima waterfall is my 
favorite drive. Why, pray, should I take so much trouble to 
please you? You flatter yourself." 

"Madame, I was only doing honor to your kindness as a 
hostess." Von Boden flushed. 

" That is the one character in which, according to Pini, I 
hopelessly break down. His are old-world ideas of courtesy; 
you have touched on the sole subject of dissension between us. 
I am incapable of receiving, says Pini, for I lie on my sofa and 
let people amuse themselves." 

" Or climb up Motterone ! " said Egon, gazing away towards 
the round mountain that filled up his southern horizon. "I 
hope they are finding that enjoyable." 

" Shall we talk about them for a change. I seem to have 
been talking about myself all the time. Have you noticed that, 
when people know each other but little, and want to know each 
other more, they always do that ? " 

"Do what?" 

"How dull you are! Or pretend to be. Talk each about 
himself. Shall we talk about Lady Archie ? I do not like her; 
she is *mauvais genre.' Do you know on what rule I was 


brought up by my mother? N'ever to talk about people, only 
about things. It was an estimable rule. But it made conver- 
sation very dull. My mother did not adhere to i+." 

" My father's rule was different, yet similar. ITever to talk 
about what could benefit nobody." 

" And did your father keep to his rule? " 

" Does anybody invariably do so ? " 

" Did you love your father ? He is recently dead ? '' 

" More than any man on earth." 

" Well, shall we talk about him? Tell me about him! " 

" Not just now," he said, more and more " gene." 

She rang her bracelets against each, other, with the impul- 
sive movement of her hands. " I understand," she said angrily. 
" You think we are not sufficiently intimate. Well, whom do 
you like best after your father ? " 

"I cannot say." 

"Why not? If you say your brother, I shall not believe 

" Why not? " It was his turn. 

" Because brothers do not love each other. Especially not 
brothers who are utterly dissimilar. You are foolish, Herr 
von Eoden ; do you not see that I but make conversation. What 
do I care? I do not even know the man." 

" I was afraid you would laugh at me, that was all." 

" All ? To a man it is everything. I suppose you would 
say, like a man whom I asked once before: 'my dog*?" 

" It is my servant," said Egon stiffly. He got up to walk 
towards the waterfall. 

"Your servant?" She frowned. Then she came closer, 
walking beside him. " That is very Italian," she said. " Quite 
like one of us. Not at all what I should have thought of one 
of your northern grand seigneurs. Herr von Koden, I am 
going to pay you an immense compliment, the biggest I can: 
when I see you, and read you — ^I love reading people like books 
— almost you might be an Italian, a good Italian, I mean. Not 
the sort you dream of, from the opera, with stilettos." 

" And why not stilettos ? " replied Egon. " A man is none 
the worse for being able to use, well, not a stiletto, perhaps, but 
a rapier. ' Do you bite your thumb at me, sir ? ' You remem- 

" Of course I remember. As a girl, years ago, I learnt 
* Romeo and Juliet ' by heart, of evenings, in my bed. I used 
to spend my little pocket-money on candles; an hour every 


night, in the Italian, I used to sit and repeat. I used to fancy 
I was Giulietta. WellP' 

He did not speak. 

" There was no Romeo. There was no garden. There was 
only a narrow yard, with tall houses opposite, and heaps of dirty 

" It is pleasant to think that now you have one of the most 
beautiful gardens in Italy," he suggested good-naturedly. 

^^ Yes, and a balcony. And a husband whose good qualities 
I fully appreciate. The waterfall is splendid, but it is noisy. 
Have you realized at all, that a storm is creeping up ? " 

" A storm ? - No, indeed." Egon's alarmed glances swept 
the firmament. 

" You do not know the country as I do. Those clouds over 
yonder by the Simplon. I think we had better return." 

"And yet it is too late," she said, as the carriage bowled 
swiftly along the hard, white road. She had turned once or 
twice to watch the upward sweep of the woolly black masses 
against the sinking sunlight. 

" We shall never get back in time, Herr von Roden." 

"Then let us stop at the first albergo we reach," he said. 

" No, no ; we cannot do that." 

"But why not?" 

"Please not. I would rather not. Drive faster, please. 
Yet that would be no use, and I would not have you worry the 
horses. You see, I am not a horsewoman, and so I hate tor- 
turing horses. A woman's love of animals always takes that 
shape. Hold them in, Herr von Roden, please ; we must make 
up our minds to a wetting." 

"But I cannot allow that. I am responsible for you to 
Signer Pini." He began to draw in his reins, as the carriage 
approached a little wayside inn. 

" Because you are responsible," she said quickly. " Avanti !" 
The horses leaped forward, past the indolent, slouch-hatted, 
slouching figure against the broken wall. The slow figure 
turned its head and looked after them. The wind had arisen. 
A few heavy drops began to fall. 

" You will be soaked. It is madness ! " he cried, pressing 
the carriage rug down upon the seat. She had only a white lace 
sunshade, a lot of white muslin and lace about her shoulders. 

" There are worse madnesses than a wetting," she answered. 
" Let us get home and dry ourselves as soon as we can." Already 
the rain was coming down in torrents. 


The quiet Italian groom behind her had softly drawn off his 
autumn livery coat and now thrust it between the two figures 
on the front seat. "The Signora Contessa will die of cold," 
he said to £gon. " She must wrap the rug around her, and 
place this coat across her knees." 

"Francesco, put on thy coat this instant I" 

The servant faintly smiled, and sat cross-armed, the thick 
rain blackening his shiny shirt-sleeves. Egon hurriedly fiung 
the thick wrap about Giulietta's shoulders; the rain came 
streaming down, the deserted road seemed endless. It was dusk 
by the time they drew up, dripping, before the palazzo door. 

Signer Pini stood in the entrance. "Come in I Come in 
this instant," he cried superfluously. " We got back only half 
an hour ago. Madame de Boden is changing her things." 

Egon handed the reins to the groom. " God grant that the 
Signora Contessa has taken no harm ! " said the fellow. " She 
is too good for this world. Some day she will die." 

This, to Egon, was a new light on Giulietta. He acquiesced 
in the possibility of Giulietta's demise, and went up to his wife's 

" The rain was fun," said Dorothea in response to his solici- 
tude. " You know, Egon, I do not mind rain. It was splendid 
to see the great shadows come up across the lake. Oh, of 
course, one would have preferred fine weather all through, but 
we had a splendid view from the top and a very amusing 

She was getting into a tea-gown, which was a favorite of 
his, with big blue passion-flowers embroidered on blue. "My 
selection," says Bompard. " I hope you also enjoyed yourself," 
continued Dorothea before the glass. She had not the slightest 
intention of laying in her voice the accent which he f oimd 

" Oh, yes. It was almost too kind of the Countess Pini to 
stay for my sake," And his tone was unnecessarily awkward. 

"For your sake?" She veered round. "The Countess 
Pini is just the kind of person to hate mountaineering ! " 

" Well, she is also just the kind of person to love doing kind- 

" You think so ? She does not strike me in that light at all." 

" Dorothea, you are so good, you filnd it difficult to like 

"Ah, that is what my father says, though he says it less 


prettily. Why don't you put it in his words?" Dorothea 
spoke with some bitterness. 

'^ I am sure your father and I do not mean the same thing. 
You are unlike other women, Dolly. I do not want to mention 
you and them in the same breath. You do not understand the 
good qualities of women who are not so — ^not so good as your- 

She checked her own hand on the door-handle. She came 
back to him. " What was the word you wanted to say, Egon, 
before you said * good' ? " 

He laughed, flushed; she saw it. 

" I have a right to know," she continued gravely. " I have 
a right that you should help me with my faults. Speak out. 
It was ' self-righteous,' was it not ? " She stood looking at 
him, all the light of her innocent soul in her candid eyes. 

"No, by heaven I" he burst out, thoroughly disconcerted. 
" If you want to know, it was ^ pure.' " He would have caught 
her in his arms and covered her lifted face with kisses, but 
he restrained himself. He saw her blush crimson. 

"I don't think I quite understand," she said, and she held 
her lips up to his, like a child, and passed out. 


When Egon entered the drawing-room ten minutes later, 
Signor Pini was standing in the middle of the floor. "No, 
they have not come back yet," he was saying irritably. " Can 
I help it?" 

"I presume not," replied Archie, irritably too, "but the 
arrangements seem defective." He lounged up against the 
mantelpiece, a horrible blue and gold .mosaic. " Egon," he said, 
" your brother and my wife have not yet turned up. We left 
them behind, rushing down in the rain." 

"Lost on the Motteronel" cried Dorothea nervously. , 

" Konrad is a military man ; he would sopn recover his bear- 
ings," declared Egon soothingly. ' 

" It is Konrad's fault I " cried Archie, and " It is all that 
ass's fault ! " exclaimed Pini simultaneously. Even in the 
midst of his annoyance, the wretched Archie could not forbear 
a grin, as the possibilities of Tomfoolery dawned upon him. 
"I will tell Konrad when he returns," said Archie. 

" The donkey kept running away with me," explained Pini 
to his wife, and to Egon. 

"When found, make a note of I The joke is original," said 
Archie, and took out his faithful memorandum book. 

A servant brought in a telegram. 

" From them ? Impossible I " cried Giulietta. 

Her husband opened it and handed it to Dorothea. " Colonel 
and Mrs. Sandring arrive to-morrow after lunch," he said. 

"Mrs. Sandring." The words struck cold on Dorothea's 
bosom. Of course this woman was Mrs. Sandring. Somehow, 
on the rare occasions when she had been mentioned, people — 
the aimts, Egon's mother — ^had spoken of " your father's wife." . 
Before Dorothea's vision rose up a quiet northern churchyard, 
and a cold white cross : " Sacred to the memory of Dorothea, 
Baroness Brodryck " — sacred to the memory — ^the memory, bid- 
ding you pass on and forget. 

" Colonel and Mrs. Sandring I " repeated Egon, and his quiet 
voice was aflame with resentment. His tone recalled his wife 
to the needs of the moment. 



'^ Yes, they happen to he in Milan. So they are coming on 
here," replied their imperturhahle host. 

" Dorothea, did you know that your father was at Milan? " 

^'It is some time since I have heard from him, Egon. I 
shall be very pleased to see him again." 

" Of course, I had no idea, Count, that a couple of nights 
under your roof would procure us the pleasure of a meeting 
with Colonel and Mrs. Sandring." 

"What more natural? The Colonel is an old friend of 
mine; I first met him years ago at the house of his present 
wife's cousin, the Count di Casa Profonda." 

" It is a put-up thing," said Egon fiercely, inaudibly, as he 
turned away towards the window. 

"You are annoyed; shall we change it? I am grieved," 
murmured Giulietta's soft accents behind him. She drew him 
aside. " You want not the papa and the mother-in-law 1 " she 
said. "We will telegraph them off!" 

"It could not be done with decency," he answered. "We 
are leaving to-morrow." 

"Ah, no— not that!" 

" It was always our plan to go back to Bel Respiro." 

" A man's plans are made for a woman to break them. You 
will stay." 

"I fear it is impossible." 

" Because I ask you." 

"You are laughing at me." 

"As you like, then — ^nm away from Mrs. Sandring. Are 
you afraid of her? " 


" Of me, then ? " She drew herself up, and, of course, she 

So he wisely laughed also. "Dorothea must decide," he 

" Whether I am a woman to be afraid of ? " 

"No, how long we shall enjoy Mrs. Sandring's company." 

"I depend, then, on Madame de Roden's charity. Lord 
Archibald, I beg of you do not look so anxious. My husband 
has sent back the guides, you know. And there is not a shadow 
of danger in connection with Motterone." 

" I am not anxious, Contessa ; I am angry." 

" Well, that is a conjugal condition with which I feel little 
sympathy, especially not when the object of your ire is being 
driven home through the night very wet and tired and hungry." 


" That word suggests dinner," said Pini. " It has been too 
long delayed." He gave his arm to Dorothea, and led her down 
the long saloons of the Villa 'Arriet. ^^ Bellissima,^' he mur- 
mured, "was it not you that desired. the inevitable? Well, it 
was brought about — et apresf^^ 

" What do you mean. Count ? " 

"The lady who comes here to-morrow is Mrs. Sandring. 
Surely you will stay to receive her ? " 

"Most certainly I shall stay to. receive my father's wife." 

He bent over the hand upon his arm. " Purissima" he said, 
" I kiss the hem of your garment. Nightly, I pray the Virgin 
— she, after all, is the goddess of luck — ^to give half, at least, 
of the happiness you deserve. You are too good for this world 
— by which I mean this society. You were certainly too good 
for me. You are almost too good for your very good husband. 
Will you sit here, at my right hand ? But I warn you that he 
intends to run away from Mrs. Sandring." 

" Champagne ! " said Archibald to the man who brought him 
his soup. " Take this away and get me some champagne." 

" Put the bottle beside Milord," said Pini, who was himself 
most abstemious, only desiring vermouth when he could not 
afford to pay for it. But he knew that Lord Archibald possessed 
not a single vice except " punistry." " A Northerner, when he 
is vexed, he must drink," says Pini, "a Southerner, he must 
pray." Lord Archibald, it appears, was very seriously vexed; 
he ate nothing — ^he, a hearty eater — ^and he finished the bottle 
without noticing the fact. He mixed his wines indiscrimin- 
ately; once or twice he put his empty glass to his lips, and 
the servants filled it. 

At long intervals, Pini asked after the weather; the butler 

still answered that it was raining fast. " D the weather! " 

said Lord Archibald under his breath. "People could not 
.seriously get lost on the Motterone; there was no real danger," 
said Pini, half a dozen times. " Lost I " burst out Archibald 
at last. " Lost ! Some women could get lost in a drawing- 
room I " A horrible silence fell upon the company ; the two 
wives shrank, like a dog in dread of a blow. The Italian 
cousins, whom nobody noticed, began chattering to each other 
of acquaintances whom nobody knew. 

" On demande Milord au telephone ! " said the solenm 
French butler. 

Archibald jumped to his feet. He swayed slightly : his boy- 
ish face went white and red. 


" Shall I go first? " cried von Koden. 

" Why ? " demanded Archie, pausing, his napkin in his hand- 
" Are you afraid of bad news? What is bad news? " He fol- 
lowed the servant to a small room in the " offices," whence the 
telephone bell rang out suddenly again, as he approached. 

" Hullo I " called Archie. His color went from red to white. 
He did not fear bad news. 

"Is that you, Archie?" came back Lady Archibald's shrill 
voice through the tube. 

" Yes, it's me," was the husband's sullen reply. 

" We are up here, at the Motterone Hotel. Don't be anxious 
about me! I'm in no sort of danger." 

" I should think not, with that fool, Konradl " 

"Hist, for goodness' sake. He's in the room." 

"I thought he might be." 

"What meanest thou, silly? The little hotel is very poor 
and uncomfortable, but it will do for the night." 

" Room for two, I suppose ? " called Archie. His voice was 

" Shout not so. We got lost in the rain and wandered back 

"Didn't notice you were going up, I suppose?" 

" Well, hardly that, but we found we were ^" 

" Naturally not ; you were going down all the time." 

" Lord Archibald, I understand not. What meanest thou? " 

" Pons I " shrieked the wretched young man, and laughed up- 
roariously into the telephone. 

"Let off there: thou ticklest me," came the angry reply. 
"For the night, then, I must stay here. Ask Count Pini %o 
send a carriage to meet us at the foot to-morrow morning." 

" Better come down to-night," said Archie, and his voice was 
not too loud this time. 

"But I cannot — impossible — in the pouring wet, and the 
darkness I " 

" Better come down to-night," hissed Archie. 

"Thou art mad: it is four hours' climb down the slopes, 
A dog would not do it." 

" Wouldn't he ? Well, let him stop up there ! " 

" Till to-morrow, then. My love to Giulietta I " 

" By all means. I say. Lady Archibald — ^Dickie ! " 


"Better come down to-night! 

"I do not understand at all. Your voice sounds so queer 


through the telephone. Is it another pon? I never understand 
thy pons 1 " 

" It is not a pon," said Archie, and rang the little bell that 
ends the interview. 

He went back to the dinner-table. "How long you have 
been ! " cried all. " Good news, I hope ? " said somebody. 

"Oh, yes, they are up at the little hotel." He turned to 
Egon: "Your brother is safe." He poured himself out a 
tumbler of sherry and drank it. 

" Have something to eat now : you have eaten nothing," said 

He looked at her, but he pushed aside the dish a footman 
was holding. " Good news I bad news I " he muttered once or 
twice to himself. His manner was certainly strange. The 
ladies felt relieved to find themselves deprived of his presence 
hi the drawing-room. 

For Signer Pini, who, as a rule, detested smoking-rooms, 
billiard-rooms, whisky and soda smells — all the attributes of 
modem masculinity; Signor Pini, whose existence, whether 
rich or poor, was of old-worldness, pretty compliments in female 
society, sobriety and saintliness complete; Signor Pini, who 
shrank from loud oaths and loud laughter, fell asleep during 
sporting stories and missed the point of coarse ones — ^this Sig- 
nor Pini now seemed anxious to confine his young friends to 
the farther end of the cumbersome edifice. He motioned the 
butler, behind Archibald's back, to remove the liqueurs, thereby 
awakening a sudden feeling of resentment in the dumb, diges- 
tive old Italian cousin, who sank to repose in an enormous arm- 
chair. A protuberant and pasty old cousin, with very short 
legs and a very long name. 

" Egon," said Archibald, standing with his legs apart, a 
coffee-cup in his hand, " I believe you're a thorough good chap." 

" Thank you," replied Egon. 

" But your brother's a beastly cad I " 

The words fell softly, quite unexpectedly, like a dead weight 
at one's feet. Both Pini and von Koden started back. 

"Lord Archibald," said Egon, hotly, "you have not the 
faintest idea what you are saying.^' 

" Are you going to deny it ? " cried Archie, in a sudden blaze 
of pent-up fury. 

" You are going to imsay it," replied Egon, as furiously. 

Signor Pini came between. "Gentlemen," he began — ^and 


in that one word from his lips lay such an oppression of courtly 
scorn and reproYal that both combatants stopped dead. 

" I," said Lord Archibald presently, confusedly, " I ^look 

here, I suppose different men have different ways of behaving. 
I suppose the correct card 'd be not to take any notice; not 
to say anything, at any rate; to go and shoot somebody in 
silence, like in the French books, or horsewhip him, like in the 
English, eh? Well, I ain't the correct card. I speak out, like 
the fool I am, like the fool I've always been. There's fools and 
villains in this world, von Koden, and the fools have a bad 
time." He staggered forward into the glare of the lamp. " My 
God I " he said, " I've got a wife who's a ^" 

A little table at Pini's elbow went over with a crash, a table 
full of brittle Kabyle pottery, a great noise and a greater mess. 
The silent cousin started into life. " Diavolo I " " Dear me," 
said Pini contemplatively, " Abdelkader's present to Mister 
'Arriet. A royal relic less ! " 

He glided after Archie and pressed his fingers on the young 
man's arm. "You are not well, dear Milord," he murmured, 
" you have been upset by this anxiety. Supposing you went to 
your room ? " 

"Archie shuddered. "I don't want to go to — ^my room," 
he said piteously. " I won't trouble you long, Count Pini. I 
want to stay here to-night. You, you can do me a great kind- 
ness. I am leaving to-morrow by the earliest boat." 

"Milord, you are conmiitting a great mistake." 

"Count Pini!" 

" I am an old man : I will say my say." 

" All I ask is that you extend your hospitality to Lady 
Archibald until she has heard from me." 

" This is madness. Monsieur de Koden, help me to persuade 
this infatuated boy ! " 

"Archie, you must stay," said Egon firmly. "You dislike 
Konrad: I promise to rid you of his presence to-morrow. My 
wife and I are leaving before lunch." 

"Monsieur de Roden," put in Pini gently, "permit me to 
say, when I think of your exquisite consort, that you are com- 
mitting a crime." 

" Monsieur, you are my host " 

" I am an old man : for once I will say my say. Per Bacco I" 
his voice rang out, "because young men lose their tempers, 
shall the whole world be upset ? A smash is an easy thing, the 
easiest thing in the world I " He pointed to the ruined table. 


" Any fool can make a smash: only a wise man can walk, like 
a cat, among crockery. And what are your women, pray, but 
pots of perfume" — ^a glance at Archie — ^*'or basins of holy 
water " — a wave at Egon. " Ah, Santa Madre I Santa Madre I 
these men! "Not one deserves a good woman! Kot one 
deserves a bad!" 

" Your invitation to Mrs^ Sandring," said Egon, white with 
passion, " was a put-up thing. You asked us on purpose." 

'^I could make appropriate speeches," replied the Italian. 
'' Beautiful, haughty speeches about my rights in my own house. 
I do not do so. True, Mrs. Sandring has a claim to meet her 
husband's daughter. The daughter's virtue itself has ordained 
such matters beyond your petty objections. Colonel Sandring 
is yearning to press his child to his heart. Well, I plead guilty. 
I am his accomplice. Good ! " 

"Oh, yes, come, Egon, you must let Sandring see his 
daughter," put in Archie. The young man spoke eagerly in 
his own natural voice. 

"What is my small row," replied Egon desperately, "com- 
pared to the big one you are kicking up ? " 

"You leave me alone," said Archie. "I'm going off to- 
morrow at six o'clock. You leave me to settle my own affairs. 
Heigho, what shall I do till to-morrow morning? I say, Egon, 
let's have a game of billiards." 

" If you like," said Egon, glad to divert the other's thoughts, 
and his own. They took their cues, and Archibald made the 
first cannon. 

Signer Pini stood watching them. "You do not play for 
stakes?" he said. "I could not do that. I should take no 
interest in the game. How good are the young Northerners, 
not pious, as we, but unwisely good, and foolish I " 

The two players stopped and looked at each other. 

" Now, even thus watching you, I must bet on your chances, 
but how? My cousin? Ah, no! Signori, I mlist bet against 
myself, I will bet for the Holy Virgin. Ten louis, if you win, 
dear Lord Archibald, to the building of the Church of the 
Blessed Mary in Mercato ! " 

" Archie, I will play you for to-morrow," said Egon. " If 
you lose, you stay ^" 

"What business " 

" You forget that I am Konrad's elder brother. My name is 


^' And if I win, you do not go," cried Archie, a malicious 
flash in his harmless eyes. 

'^ You cannot refuse ! " exclaimed Pini. 

"Play your best then." Egon struck fiercely, and missed. 

" I shall," said Archie. Egon was a better player than he, 
and surely, at this moment, the German's hand must be the 
firmer. Egon felt pretty safe. 

"You play," said Pini, "for Madonna in heaven and 
Madonna on earth, milord. You must win." And, indeed, 
Archie's aim amazingly steadied itself. Once or twice he was 
lucky: several times he was brilliant. He won easily. 

"You and I, then, we must execute ourselves with a good 
grace, monsieur," said Pini. Egon was bitterly angry; the 
idea of seeing the Baroness Blanche in intercourse with his 
wife was revolting to. him. 

"And Archie has the satisfaction," he said, "of making 
^" He stopped himself. 

"Making what?" demanded Archie. All his brio seemed 
once more to have forsaken him. He stood staring disconso- 
lately at the broken pottery. 

"Mountains of molehills," substituted Egon. 

"Would to God they were molehills," said Archie, "and I 
as blind as a mole." 


"But, yes, we are too early," said she who had once been 
the Baroness Blanche* de Fleuryse. " Why are we too early, 
mon Colonel?" 

" Because we started too early," replied Sandring, trying to 
look amused. "My wife, you see," — his appeal embraced the 
whole company — ^" always thinks that she'll miss her train un- 
less she can catch the preceding one." The Italian cousin 
woke up. "I know that sort of woman," he said sympatheti- 
cally, from out the depths of some personal experience. 

" Don't run down your wife, Colonel ; it's bad form," cried 
the Baroness tartly. Often had Sandring entreated her not to 
address him by his title. "It's not much, but it's all you've 
got, and I'll let people know it," said the whilom lady of rank. 

They were in the entrance-hall of the Villa 'Arriet: the 
Finis, the native nonentities, Egon and Dorothea, had come 
out to meet the freshly arriving guests. 

" My dear Countess, I should like to sit down," said Mrs. 
Sandring, and she led the way herself into a lai^e conservatory 
that opened out of the hall. She sank down on a wicker lounge 
under palm trees. Her marriage had made her more massive, 
more florid, altogether more. " My dear Dorothea, you are look- 
ing handsomer than ever I " 

" Will you take something after your drive ? " asked Giuli- 
etta, assuming an air of interest with an effort that seemed to 
crack her voice. 

" Oh, Gravellona isn't far. But I should like a little soda 
water, and, my dear Countess, just a touch of brandy in it." 

" Good heavens, Blanche, it isn't eleven o'clock I " The 
Colonel spoke, with irritation bursting badly mended barriers. 

The lady turned upon him a seemingly languid look. "Is 
that your hour for feeling exhausted ? " she said. " Happy 
man. My dear Dorothea, your father has a constitution of 
iron. I, alas! — am always tired, especially of mornings." 

"Nobody ought to take restoratives before lunch," said the, 
Colonel with a great air of authority. Mrs. Sandring beat her; 
foot on the floor. " Where is dear Lady Archibald ? " she said. 
20 299 


" I understood the dear Archibalds were staying in the house? " 

Glances as of conspirators leaped around the company. The 
languid Baroness had noted them, before Pini spoke, quite un- 
embarrassed : 

" The dear Archibalds are out." And, indeed, they were, for 
Archie had slipped away to the steamer before daybreak, and 
my lady had not yet come back. At any moment the carriage 
containing her and Konrad might drive up to the door. Doro- 
thea, who perhaps cared most in that company, already fancied 
she heard the wheels. 

" Doubtless you would like to go up to your rooms ? " insin- 
uated Pini, with a captivating smile. But Mrs. Sandring pre- 
ferred to await her soda here. 

"How matutinal I" she ejaculated. And then she added: 
^But doubtless Lady Archibald is accustomed to getting up 
early." She hated Lady Archie because the latter had been a 
Biermadel and married above her. "Into our family too," 
says Mrs. Sandring. 

Coimt Pini frowned ever so slightly. If there was anything 
he loathed and abhorred in this world where (to quote him) all 
things are thinkable, it was scenes, scandals of any kind, noise, 
quarrels, combustions, especially with women concerned. "In 
my country," he says, "in my time, except at Santa Lucia, 
things were managed in silence. Everybody was busy sinning 
in secret and trying not to notice his neighbors' sins. Even 
the Madonna is not over-observant, or how could she endure 
existence. What said the fool to King Philip the Second? 
* Thy will is law, but where wouldst thou be, if none willed as 

Pini, then, was exceedingly anxious to get the Archibald un- 
pleasantness smoothed over. " What canst thou so much care ?" 
Giulietta had said, when, a second time, she woke and found 
him sleepless. " It is as if she were thy sister, this woman of 
bad taste I" 

" Between us all, in these matters," replied Pini, with a sigh, 
" there remains a bond of blood." 

Now, as he stood meditating how to get the adder-tongued 
Baroness upstairs, all hesitation was rendered superfluous, for 
the carriage with the truants drove up to the door. 

They came out, looking noticeably easy and unconcerned. 
Lady Archibald had informed Konrad a minute before, that 
she had not the faintest intention of looking otherwise, but 


when you have not the faintest intention to appear embarrassed^ 
you are liable to do more than you intended. 

" Where is Archie? " demanded my lady, the centre of atten- 
tion, in the middle of the hall. 

" Out," said Pini. 

^'Out! Archibald? At ten in the morning I Impossible I 
In bed?" 

"Out? By himself?" cried Mrs. Sandring. 

" Out walking I Lovely country," put in the Colonel. 

Lady Archibald looked from right to left, looked at every- 
body, excepting Konrad. Pini stepped resolutely forward and 
offered her his arm. 

"You must be half dead with fatigue," he said. "Permit 
me to lead you upstairs." Mechanically she accepted his offer 
and allowed herself to be led away. There was thunder in the 
air. Every woman feels it. 

" A great nuisance ! " remarked Konrad, to the others. " It 
was a wretched hotel, and of course we were very uncomfort- 
able. Lady Archibald tells me she passed a very bad night ^" 

"Miladi, your husband has gone," Pini whispered on the 
staircase. "We know nothing but this: he has gone north- 
ward by boat! You must find a note in your room — ^urgent 
business. He — ^he was annoyed last night — ^foolish husbands — 
pretty wives — ^ah, jealousy is always a compliment. The Sand- 
rings know nothing: I should not speak of Motterone — any 
other story will do as well — ^better I " 

" Archibald gone ! " said Lady Dickie. That was all she 
said. The tears stood in her eyes, but what tears Pini, with 
all his exx>erience of womankind, could not have told. She 
trembled slightly on his arm, and he wondered if perchance she 
knew her husband better than that husband's friends had done. 

He was meditating some vague warning about husbands 
generally, but the altruistic truism remained unspoken, for a 
great hubbub arose from the hall. They bent over the upper 
story balustrade. 

Archibald stood where his wife had stood two minutes ago. 
He was hatless, and that would have been comic, but for the 
look about his face. 

"Ah, my dear fellow I" said Sandring. "Delighted to see 
" Get along," said Archie. 

Lady Archibald was already downstairs. "Why, Joe Mil- 
ler, how ridiculous you look I " she said. Joe Miller was their 


most intimate pet-name, the half -forgotten secret of their hai)- 
piest time. 

" I don't doubt that I do," retorted Archie. " Oh, you mean 
my hat? Well, they can see my forehead all the better." 

'Not even Sandring smiled. Archie stared round at the 
others, not looking at his wife. ^* I had to come back," he said, 
stupidly, "because, you see, I lost my hat." 

Lady Archibald laughed noisily. "Did it blow into the 
water?" she said. "Well, get thee another and we'll go for a 

"It blew overboard," said Archie, still to the company. 
" And I got out at — ^what's the place ? — ^Intra — and came back." 

" There, then, was the tile loose ? " cried Dickie. But Archi- 
bald did not grin. 

" At Intra is an admirable old man with antiquities," began 
Pini. "You should have gone and seen him. We will all go 
and see him. Sandring, you are a great connoisseur; you must 
help me to buy something genuine for these ladies — a reliquary, 
a cross; he has wonderful objects of religion. Who will go 
with us? Come, Sandring — come, Herr Konrad ^" 

" Stay a minute," exclaimed Archie. " I want you all to 
stay, who were here last night. I don't mind about you, Sand- 
ring, you're a sort of cousin, and a good fellow, tool I want 
you to hear me." 

His manner was so excited that Lady Archibald timidly 
placed her hand on his arm. " Come away with me, Archie ; 
you aren't well," she said gently. He shrank as she touched 
him, but he let the hand lie. 

" All of you know," he went on, " what this woman was when 
I married her — ^why I married her, how I married her, what my 
people at home did to me — oh, I'm not saying the things to 
shame her, you all know all about it — ^I'm only putting things 
together for what I want to prove." 

" Archie, dear Archie, come away ! " pleaded his wife. 

" Last night I — ^I — ^well, I suppose I made a fool of myself. 
I'm the sort of fellow that makes a fool of himself. All his life 
long. I'm doing it again this morning. I went away an — and 
you see, I've come back. I'm doing it again this morning." 

" Then don't you think you might leave off " suggested Kon- 
rad. He spoke sweetly. He was green to the lips. 

" So, you see," continued Archie, looking straight at Doro- 
thea, " I think I have a right to say I love her. That is all I 
want to prove; I have a right to say I love her." 


Lady Archibald drew her skirts about her. " Of course thou 
lovest me, silly old cat, and I thee. But of this folly we have 
sufficient, and I carry you upstairs, my Archibald, so ! " She 
caught him by the wrist and would have pulled him forward, 
but he wrenched himself away. 

" I love her," he said. " I come back to her. Ah, Madame 
de Eoden, will you understand me ? Will you help us ? I love 
her, and she is a woman of the streets ! " 

His wife dropped his arm and fell back a step or two, and 
stood staring at him. 

" All I want," Archie hurried on, " is for you all, you who 
know what's happened, to promise me silence. It's a little 
thing — ^you don't want to talk, do you? — and it makes such a 
lot of difference to us; I'm an awful chatterbox, but I think 
I could hold my tongue about another fellow's affairs, if he 
asked me. I want you all to say you will, and Egon, I want 
you to talk to yonder brute; I can't. I could only kill him, 
and what's the use ? It seems such an idiotic settlement. And 
we'll go away together." For the first time he looked at his 
wife. " Some day, perhaps, Dickie, things '11 look different, and 
Madame de Eoden will be willing to speak to you again, and 
she'll help us to get things straight." 

"To-day — ^this moment!" cried Dorothea, starting up, "if 
there is anything I can do or say " 

But Archie shook his head. " We'd better get away now," 
he said. "After all, I daresay a lot of the fault is mine. I 
was thinking of that on the boat. Life isn't all a stupid joke, 
and, you see, I was a Tomfool." It was now his turn to hold 
out his hand. " I've come to fetch you," he said. " Come 
away ! " 

She had stood staring at him, immovably. Now, as he drew 
nearer, she fell back against a pillar — ^then suddenly sprang for- 
ward, and, before he or any one could dream of her intention, 
she had struck him, with the palm of her hand, on the face. 

" Tomfool ! " screamed the ex-Biermadel, " Tomfool ! Dost 
thou insult me, because I am a woman ? Here, before all these 
goodies — ah, precious ! — thou sayest vile things of me, and every 
one grins. Ape! There is but one answer to idiots as thou! 
One beats them. Would but I had the fist of a man ! " 

"Mrs. Sandring," said the Colonel in a very loud voice, 
"you and I are going upstairs at once." 

Mrs. Sandring laughed shrilly. " No, indeed," she retorted. 


'^I am vastly interested. Lord Archibald, what is going to 
happen next?" 

" This I " cried Dickie, turning on the lady, " that I'm going 
to leave the house, as the Count di Pini-Pizzatelli invites to 
us the Baroness Blanche de Fleuryse. There are people I will 
not meet in future." She swept a deep curtsey to her husband. 
" You are one." 

" A man that can say vile things of a woman," she continued, 
once more screaming. " A liar about his wife 1 A lying, lie- 
ful liar! Thou wouldst be rid of me? So be it then. I am 
sick of thee and thy poor Tomfool. But why lie with lying 
lies ? I will never forgive thee thy lies. Will some gentleman 
escort me to the hotel? Monsieur Konrad, prove the Tomfool 
that he liesl" Konrad stepped thoughtfidly forward. Well, 
undoubtedly, she was good looking, with fleshly, lustful good 
looks. He offered her his arm, and they went out at the hall- 
door together. 

Archibald, ever since the blow had struck him, had remained 
staring stupidly at the woman who had dealt it — ^and another. 
Signer Pini now came forward, and took his hand in a very 
un-English manner, and led him away. 

"We will go into my room for a little," said Signor Pini. 
** My dear Milord, will you forgive my saying that you have a 
little mismanaged this most delicate business? But the gods 
have been gracious to you: they have arranged it for you far 
better than you had any right to expect." 

"Don't humbug me, please, signore," said Archie. 

" Nothing is farther from my intentions. I am an old man. 
I have known much trouble and many compensations. I per- 
mit myself to pity you deeply, and to wish you joy. May I say 
a thing that, I believe, should be said to-day, not to-morrow?" 

" Fire away I " said Archie. 

"You will not slay me? Life is so valuable to the old." 

" Oh, don't fool me. Count I Everybody seems to think Pm 
made for foolery only." 

" You are young : your life is * ref easible.' You have done a 
foolish thing : the gods love you. I would say that you are well 
rid of — ^her. Two practical jokers is too much in one family." 

" God knows I never played her a practical joke like that," 
said poor Archie. 

Signor Pini lightly balanced his appreciative finger-tips. 

"Your Protestant religion," he said, "is lacking in 


" You will go at once," said Mrs. Sandring, " and kill this 
woman's responsible man." 

" I haye no objection," replied her husband coolly, " for, in 
fact, she insulted me quite as much as you, and before my 
daughter ! But the difficulty will be just at present to find out 
who the personage is." 

" I liave always understood," said the lady, " that the laws 
of duelling are precise on every particular point. My cousin, 
the Count di* Casa Profonda— — ^" 

"Was killed in single combat, so he ought to know," re- 
marked the Colonel languidly. 

" Lewis, if there is to be any mocking at relations, it seems 
to me that some of yours " 

"I make you a present of all but Dorothea. But where is 
the mocking ? I said ' skilled.' " 

"Leave such poor quibbles to the weak wretch downstairs. 
I tell you he deserved what he got." 

" Already I have heard you make the remark, and have not 
expressed dissent. Can you let me have a cigarette? This is 
a first-rate balcony for smoking. Every man deserves what 
he gets from a woman. For why? Because, after all, the 
bondage is self -chosen." 

"Not always," said the Baroness. 

"!N^ot always." The Colonel sighed. 

" Talking of our dear Dorothea," said the Baroness (though 
no one had mentioned her), "does it not strike you that she, 
dear child, has managed to create an extraordinary milieu for 
herself in a very short time ? One would like to contrast Brod- 
ryck and Baveno. How interesting to see the dear ladies at 
Giulietta's dinner table." 

The Colonel smiled his new little weary smile. "In low- 
necks," he said. And added : " The child is not to blame." 

Mrs. Sandring — the new name and the old seem to suit 
various phases of her present development — Mrs. Sandring sat 
up. "!N'ot to blame," she cried, "for marrying Egon? Who 
is? Oh, I know: I am. I am to blame for everything that 



happens nowadays. Wet or fine; cold or hot. I am like the 
French government." 

"But more stable," said the Colonel, "government in any 
case : be content with that. We should be perfectly happy, my 
dear Blanche, if only you would abandon your horrible habit 
of catching one up. You cannot imagine what bad taste it is." 

Mrs. Sandring rose, very magnificent, with mountains of 
gold on her big head. "You accuse me of nagging?" she 

The Colonel shrugged his shoulders. "I never, that I re- 
member, accused any woman of anything," he said, " except of 
not loving me enough, or some one else more. What man 
accuses women? We love them, and leave them, and die for 
them, but we never take them seriously enough to accuse them. 
Accusation presupposes criminal intention — and a judge." 

" Sandring, when you sit arguing like that and smoking, 
you are odious." 

" What a pity, for, excepting play, it is pretty well my only 
remaining pleasure, since my stomach began to go. You must 
bear with me a little. I was always mild to women, and mildly 
treated by them. I am accustomed to having my own way." 

"You have told me that a dozen times, and it needed no 

" There is a fundamental difference," continued Sandring, 
lazily reasoning to the Borromean islands. " Woman is God's 
creation, spoilt by the Devil; man is God's creation, spoilt by 
woman. There is wonderful living truth in the Hebrew story." 

" Lewis, you are profane. I don't like the way you speak 
about the Bible." 

"I suppose it is the Bible," said Sandring thoughtfully. 
" Have you ever seen a Bible, Blanche ? " 

" I have seen the little book your daughter gave me," Mrs. 
Sandring replied, in a softened voice. " I am a better Christ- 
ian than you, Lewis. I never miss my Easter duties, and I 
say my 'Ave Maria' every night. What do you do? You 
wear an amulet for Monte Carlo." 

" It is not that," replied the Colonel, also in gentler accents, 
" Pepita gave me the little leaden Virgin when she died." 


The Colonel nodded softly to the Borromean islands. 

"Tell me all about it this instant I You never told me a 

" There are many things I have not told thee, my dearest. 


Some day, perhaps, when thou hast been very good to me, very 
kind and sweet — and hast played a soft hand through my curly 
locks— as she used to do — ^I will tell thee about Pepita." 

"Bluebeard I" 

" Ah, yes ; you would have the key I " 

The Baroness laughed. " Well, yes," she said. " I admit I 
do love to hear stories of that kind. I have told you more about 
my past than you have me, Colonel." 

" I could have dispensed with the pleasure," answered Sand- 
ring coldly. "By-the-bye, I beg of you, be careful what you 
say to Dorothea." 

She flushed. She opened her lips for an angry retort, but 
checked it. "Thank you," she only said, and went and sat 
down with her back to the view, powdering round cheeks that 
were hot with resentment.- 

Sandring, having finished his cigarette and cast a couple of 
uncomfortable glances at his consort, strolled downstairs in 
search of somebody to talk to. Attracted by the sound of sing- 
ing, he looked into the music-room, and approved of 
" Non, non, ce n'est pas, — ce n'est pas I'alouette." 

" Very good, indeed," he said. " I heard Patti and Eeszk6 
in that at the Paris Opera years ago. It is really the only good 
thing in the whole composition. Except, perhaps, 
" Votre tourtereUel " 

" You might sing that for me, Koden, while the Countess is 
resting." He walked to the window. 

" Gardez bien la belle! 
Qui vivra. verral 
Votre tourterelle, 
Vous ^chapperal *' 

" Yes — ^well, it is a page's song — ^rather too heavy for a man's 
voice like yours. You sing the big passion bits better. And 
you don't appreciate the danger. Ah, Countess, if you were to 

" Gardez bien la belle! " 

" That is it — ^that is it. With you one feels the bird is on 
the wing! Ah, you understand the risk! These women! 
Archie should sing it. Poor Archie. * Qui vivra, verra 1 Votre 
tourterelle ' But you, Egon, are the placid, perfect hus- 
band, content in possession. Forty years hence you will sing — 

* My old wife's a good old creature.' 
Do you know it ? " 


"No," said Egon shortly. 

" It was a music-hall song of my youth. Forty years hence 
it will have come round again." The Colonel strolled out into 
the hall, and Egon closed the door, not without alacrity, behind 

Dorothea sat in the winter garden, hidden out of sight, but 
her father found her. 

" My dear child, I am so delighted to — ^Dorothea, you have 
been crying." 

"No, father, not crying." 

"I thought veracity was the chief of your numerous vir- 

" If I had cried I should surely have noticed it." 

"Well, not necessarily. Perhaps you did not reach the 
pocky-hanky stage. For all that, your eyes are red. What 
have you been crying about ? " 

" Nothing, I assure you." 

" The usual answer where the cause is very bad. The 
first time I encounter my daughter after her wedding-mom, her 
eyes are red. A pleasant experience for a doting father. Is 
this all that Egon '' 

" Please don't ; Egon is perfect." 

" If I thought you believed that, I should tremble for your 
future. My dear, I am fonder of you than ever. Can't you 
tell me why your eyes are red ? " 

" Father, you don't like the man I " 

" Nonsense, I like everybody. And if you mean Boden ^" 

" Of course not. There is no sort of secret about the matter. 
I don't think I've been crying. I had a letter from aunt Mary 
this morning, that is all. It made me feel a little homesick. 
And she says that Mark Lester is very ill. I am very sorry for 
them all." 

" How sad I " said the Colonel gratefully. 

"You see, he has just been inducted as minister of Brod- 
ryck, and he preached his first sermon last Sunday, and it was 
very fine, they all say. Aunt Mary says it was full of feeling, 
and uncle Tony, who is a great judge of sermons, and remem- 
bers all the good ones, declared it was the most eloquent dis- 
course he ever heard." 

" Has uncle Tony's account of it affected you to tears ? " 
grinned the Colonel. "Gad, you must read me that sermon, 

" Don't, father. Oh, father, after it was over, in the vestry. 


he was taken ill. He spat blood. They say he must not preach 
again for months." 

" Poor chap I " said the Colonel. 

"Think of his mother and sisters dependent on him. I 
believe they are very poor." Her voice trembled, and again her 
eyes filled without her knowing it. 

" We must get him away at once from that beastly climate," 
said the Colonel sympathetically. "If I spent a month of 
November in Holland or England, I should certainly spit blood. 
Anybody would, I should think. I mean, I suppose they all do 
if they've a tendency. You and I must get him to some health 
resort first, and then ship him off to the Cape. I've met dozens 
of old men there who'd lost quarts of blood in their youth. And 
they earn as many golden pounds there as they would get florins 
in Holland. Cheer up. Write home about sending your Mark 
to Davos. I'll willingly help." 

" Father, how good you are I " 

"Bosh, I've got heaps of money just now. Don't frown, 
Dolly; you must learn to accept the inevitable. The system, 
as far as it goes, has been wonderfully successful. I am greatly 
obliged to Pini for taking me into partnership. I assure you 

he is a man of very great ^there, there, we mustn't quarrel. 

I hardly consider myself his personal debtor; he has an intense 
admiration for you." 

" I am sorry," said Dorothea. 

" And surely you do not object to spoiling the Egyptians ? " 

Dorothea knew that Mark Lester, at any rate, would rather 
die naked in the desert. " You are so kind," she said. " We 
must see. I have written a few words already proposing that 
he should come here." 

"Here I" 

"Pallanza and Locarno are full of lung-patients. And he 
might begin with us at Bel Respiro. Of course Egon would be 
quite willing to have him. He is always tellipg me to invite my 
Dutch relations. I wanted to go to him now, but I did not 
like to disturb his singing." 

"Humph I" 

"He hates to be disturbed at his practising. He says it 
puts him out." 

" Even when he is practising alone ? " demanded the Colonel 

"Esx)ecially when he is practising alone." 

" But this young man is not a relation I " 


" He is exactly the same thing. . I have always called him 
my brother." 

'• Well, I think he would be just as comfortable at the hotel.^ 

'' Oh, no, no I I could not bear to think of Mark at the 
hotel, and all our rooms empty. It would seem absurd. Be- 
sides, he would not go, father. He is rather proud. I do not 
think he would like to take our money. And so unnecessarily. 
I know, because uncle Tony wanted to pay for his university 
education; and he lived in a garret and gave lessons." 

^' To me that sort of thing is insufferable ! " exclaimed the 

" So uncle Tony said. But uncle Tony likes him very much, 
father, and I'm sure you would. He is not at all conceited — 
quite simple; and when aunt Mary gave him a present for a 
trip up the Bhine, he very gladly went." 

"I am nonplussed," said the Colonel. "But, Dorothea, let 
me speak of things I understand about. You have known this 
yoimg fellow all your life: you have the memories of twenty 
years in common with him: your husband you first met a 
twelve-month ago. I shall not insult you or Egon by suggest- 
ing that your husband could ever grow jealous of any one — 
don't think I mean that — ^but accept as a general truth the fact 
that all husbands take a violent dislike to the men who knew 
their wives intimately before they did." 

Dorothea's eyes flashed. " But, father " 

"Dolly, you may reason till Doomsday: you can't change 
human nature. Your great mistake is that you assume what it 
ought to be, and not what it is. I love you. I rejoice, child, to 
see you accumulate heavenly treasure, but I tremble to think 
how you mix it up with the earthly and refuse to make any pro- 
vision for moths." 

"What do you mean, father?" 

Colonel Sandring burst out laughing. "I am not as good 
a preacher," he said, "as Mark Lester. I suppose I get my 
texts wrong. Stop at Bel Respiro, Dolly, and let Mr. Lester 
go to Davos." 

Dorothea got up. At that moment her father seemed to her 
low, corrupt : Monte Carlo, Madame de Barvielle, a host of un- 
worthy memories, painfully fresh, rose up before the soul of 
aunt Mary's pupil. 

"You wrong Egon cruelly," she said. "You misjudge us 
altogether, father. There are things ^" she stopped. 

"Of which I cannot judge?" continued the Colonel with 


outward coolness. " My dear Dolly, the Devil can quote Scrip- 
ture to his purpose. I believe it is said somewhere that even 
God is a jealous Gkxi. Jealousy, therefore, may well be a virtue. 
Were you really never, for one instant, jealous ? " 

He faced round at her. She blushed crimson. He kindly 
looked away. 

"I know a husband who isn't jealous," he said gloomily, 
" and I rather pity him." Whereupon he took out a cigarette 
and walked away. 

Dorothea sank down to a tumult of new considerations, re- 
peatedly pierced — as swift clouds break before swifter lightning 
— ^by the consciousness of that new sensation, experienced with 
sharp shame on the night before last. 

She was angry with her father. Why did he thus always 
sully her young ignorance with world-worn words that splashed, 
like mud? And her soul rebelled for sake of the husband she 
loved and admired beyond any little drawing-room tattle. 

Then she thought of the sick man at Brodryck, whom the 
doctors had ordered immediately south. She weighed her 
shrewd father's facile arguments, her own knowledge of the 
minister's character, till she felt convinced, with increasing 
anxiety, that Mark Lester would never consent to come. 

" He will die over there in the cold and the mist," she said 
to herself bitterly. "His poor mother and sisters! He is all 
they have got." 

She sat spinning out her gloomy thoughts till suddenly 
there flashed across them the memory of his promise, that sum- 
mer, to herself. It brought her to her feet again, with a shock 
of joyous resolve. She left the conservatory, her heart full of 
sweet thoughts of her husband. At the music-room door she 
paused, with her hand on the door-knob. 

"Adieu — de cet adieu si douce est la tristessel " 

" Still Komeo and Juliet," she murmured, smiling. " How 
well their voices go together I " 

The post had gone out. She got her hat and walked down 
to the little local telegraph station, accompanied by poor 
Archie's Italian greyhound, "Flirt." 

" Come at once. For my sake," she telegraphed. 


Homeward serenely she walked, with God's benediction upon 

The weather was beautifully bright : the sky a brilliant blue. 
The dark-green C3rpi'6sses pointed heavenward : the faded olives 
straggled along the rocky ground. Dorothea nodded to the 
ragged little black-eyed children, and thought of the lodge-gates 
at Brodryck. The dog ran away up a mountain-climb. She 
went after him, through a bit of wood, towards the house. 

On a stone ledge, in this coppice, a disconsolate figure was 
sitting, kicking at pebbles with aimless foot. Lord Archibald's 
boy-face looked up, as the dog darted forward. 

" By George I I thought it was she I " 

Dorothea paused beside him. 

" You're so like her, you know I I mean — ^I mean," he stam* 
mered, " in figure, of course — so fair, too. I don't mean you're 
like her, you understand." He floundered hopelessly, red and 

" I understand perfectly," she said, though refusing mentally 
to admit any similarity whatever. "Lord Archibald, I am so 
very sorry." 

He sat fondling the dog. "For what?" he asked. "Be- 
cause she went away or because she's not coming back? Do 
you know, I could hardly say. Pini tells me I ought to be 
delighted. But that's all nonsense. N'ow you, you're a good 
woman — do you think I ought to want her back ? " 

" N — ^n — ^no," said Dorothea. 

" But you don't mind my feeling awfully sorry she's gone ? " 

Dorothea laid her hand next to his on the dog's sympathetic 

"Look here — ^this is what she writes to me. Shall I read 
it? No, take it and read it yourself." 

Dorothea crackled the bit of paper in the silence of the wood. 

"Please send me Lucille" — ("That's her maid," put in 

Archie) — ^**with my things. I hoap you will let me have my 

jools,tho' after this morning you are caddie enuf for anny thing. 

Your money I want not. Send me not preedjings from Sainte- 



Dorrotea. Besites, there is no neet : I will mary the only man 
that behaf ed like a gentleman this mourning.'^ 

" By Jove, I forgot there was that bit about you I '^ cried 

Dorothea held out the letter. 

"Marry I" she said. "Marry Konrad! She is mad." 

" She'll marry him, if she wants to. She married me." 

" Marry him I It is utterly impossible I " 

"And why, pray?" demanded Archie huffily. "I should 
have thought the solution would appeal to your religious sense I" 

"Marry Konrad I Impossible," rei)eated Dorothea, without 
heeding him. In violent agitation she walked away down the 
slope, towards the house. " Konrad! " she said aloud. " Marry 
Konrad I That woman I " She hurried to the music-room, 
resolved to disturb Egon at all costs. It was empty. She 
passed through the smoking-room, coming across Pini. 

"Well, madame, what say you of these complications?" 

"God help us all out of them," she answered, hastening 

Signor Pini smiled after her. " That is so like these 
religious people," he murmured. " Always it is the Deity who 
must wipe up the mess." 

On the stairs she met Egon limping rapidly down. 

"Dolly, I was looking for you everywhere," he cried in 
excitement. "I've got something to tell you." 

" I know it already," she answered. " But it is impossible I 
It can never be." 

He started back, offended : " What on earth do you mean ? " 

" She is a wicked woman, Egon I I do not believe a word 
she says." 

Quite a new expression of disfavor came into his eyes. 

" One would almost think you did not want it to come true," 
he said. " But I disagree with you. The Countess Pini seems 
to me to have the kindest heart." 

" I am talking of Lady Archibald, who is going to marry 

" Bosh. Come up to your room, and I will tell you all about 

" I also have things I want to tell you about. Egon, some- 
thing has happened " 

But the agitation of his manner stopped her. 

" Dolly, the Countess Pini knows of a way in which my leg 
could be cured, she thinks ! " 


Her face did not respond immediately. Her first idea was 
of Lourdes. She knew that the Pinis patronised Lourdes. 

" My God, one would think you did not care I " 

" Come and sit beside me, my husband, and tell me what she 

He obeyed. " There is a man," he went on rapidly, " a 
masseur, at Montreux, who does wonders. He cures people, it 
appears, that no physician has been able to help. Countess 
Pini saw a young man arrive there from Russia — ^his father was 
a general — ^the young man had injured his ankle three years 
ago — ^they had been everywhere; he was an only son, intended 
for a soldier. He was quite lame, and this man, the masseur, 
said, ' the hurt is in the knee, not in the ankle ' — in three weeks 
he could walk about, in five he was cured." 

" We must find out more about it," said Dorothea. And she 
added : " It would be splendid, but you have tried so much." 

" I know. But the stories she tells me of this man, Barbo- 
lat, are amazing. She has seen them occur: it is no hearsay 
evidence. She wanted to speak about it before, but she didn't 
like to. She thought at once he could cure me." 

" She might have spoken to me first." 

" Why ? " He opened his eyes. 

" Has she been there herself ? Is she ill ? " 

" Oh, a rich woman's ailments. She goes to him once a 
year for a couple of weeks. He does her nerves good. And she 
meets half the royalties and semi-royalties of Europe in bis 

" That is an attraction," said Dorothea. 

"Dolly, you are most unsympathetic. Why do you so dis- 
like Madame Pini?" 

" Dislike is not the word, but I admit that we do not sympa- 
thise. You must bear with me a little ; everything has always 
been so different. Think of Giulietta Pini at Brodryck." Her 
voice was tired and miserable. 

He drew her head down on his shoulder and kissed her once 
or twice. " Think how splendid it would be if I could walk 
like other men," he said. 

She was at a loss what to answer, anxious to show sympathy, 
afraid to encourage expectations she could not share. 

" We must enquire about it," she repeated. " There was a 
lady at the Nice hotel, who used to spend all her autumns at 
Montreux. I have her address. I could write to her." 

" But the Countess knows better than any one," he cried 


impatiently. " I tell you she goes to him every year. What's 
the use of asking other people, who probably know nothing 
about it?" 

"Well, we must find out from her then, all we can. 
Everybody always knows of some infallible cure. Egon, I 
want it as much as you. Only, I am so afraid of possible dis- 
appointment. You have consulted such great people. We 
must find out about this new man. Later on we can always 

He started to his feet. " Later on I " he cried. *' Later on ! 
One can see you were never in my condition. Every step that 
I take is a sword-thrust. Madame Pini was saying she saw 
the suffering in my face: that was what gave her courage to 

She was cruelly hurt. "I see it also," she said. 

Her tone checked him, and he added more calmly: "This 
life is living death. I would give anything — twenty years of 
existence — to be like other men ! " 

She followed him to the window: he was looking out, with 
hot face. "Egon," she said, "you have always stopped me 
when I tried to speak of your trial, till I did not dare to begin. 
And now you have spoken to her: I could not know." 

He turned quickly : " Are you jealous ? " he said, in scorn. 

" No, not jealous. Why should I be jealous ? What do you 
mean by jealous? Only very, very sad." 

" And why, dearest, should you be sad? " 

She was silent. For, not even to herself, could she have put 
her thoughts into satisfactory words. 

" We will go to Montreux," he said. " And I shall get cured. 
And aU will be well." 

" Yes, we will go to Montreux." 

" She has told me marvels — of just such cases as mine. 
Dorothea, you must not think me weak. Think what the 
change would mean to me. I could go into the army, like the 
young Russian, after all." 

" You would like that very much ? " 

"For us there is no other profession. It is all the differ- 
ence between being nothing, nobody, and the possibility of 
achieving all." 

She began to realize how little she had understood him. She 
had thought him happy in his art-studies, content with the 
prospect of work in some Government office. 


" Yes, we will go to Montreux,** she said, her heart full of 

"At once." 

She started. For she also had her tale to tell, and had 
hitherto forgotten ahout it, or, rather, her thoughts had not had 
time to revert to it. 

" Egon, I had bad news from home this morning," she said, 
uncomfortably. "Mark Lester — ^you remember? — ^is very ilL" 

" Yes, I remember. Poor chap I " 

" It is dreadful. My foster-brother I " 

" Oh, that is why you were sad. What makes you call him 
your foster-brother?" 

" The aunts used often to call him so. I have telegraphed to 
him, Egon, asking him to come to us here." 

"Whatever did you do that for?" he cried, amazed. 

" The doctors order him south at once. He has spat blood. 
It is very dreadful. Of course they are quite poor. Egon, you 
have constantly been telling me to ask my relations out." 

" Yes, yes, you are perfectly right. Only this is rather awk- 
ward about Barbolat I You see, I shall have no peace until the 
man has said : yes or no. I had given up all idea of a cure long 
ago, when I returned with my father from Paris. Now it has 
suddenly all come back, all the uncertainty and expectancy. I 
must have his answer. Giulietta Pini says he always decides 
at once : ' I can cure you ' or * I can't cure you,' and he keeps 
you or sends you away." 

" Egon, what am I to do ? I canH telegraph to Mark not to 

"I must go alone." He was looking out of the window, 

" I can't let you go alone on such an errand as this." 

He frowned. "I am not a fool or a child. A child on its 
way to the dentist. It cannot be helped. As you have asked 
this man, and he is ill, you must receive him. To-morrow I 
shall run through the Gotthard, and work my way round to 
Montreux. As soon as I know anything^ I shall telegraph. 
Then we can see." 

" But what can we see ? I shall not be able to leave him 
alone at Bel Respire." 

" Then you must leave me alone at Montreux ! " 

" Egon, you are unkind. Oh, what can I do ! " 

"I am quite unable to decide," he said, and limped out of 
the room. 


"I shall stay to receive him. I must stay to receive him 
now/' she exclaimed. Her lips trembled, but her eyes were set 
firm. She paced up and down the room. ^^ For my sake I I 
have telegraphed * For my sake.' He is seriously ill. How can 
I then now telegraph to him: * Don't come?"' 


** Father, this woman Archibald says she is going to marry 

The Colonel stopped in his languid amusement of blowing 
cigarette smoke at Giulietta's cockatoo. "Well, my dear, I 
suppose that is what you would call 'right'?" 

" It is infamous. It is disgraceful. Let her go back to her 
own husband." 

" And not sully the name of von Koden ? Very true. But 
do not alarm yourself. Konrad does not look to me the sort of 
man to do anything quite as stupid as that. Besides, there 
is plenty of time; they are not yet divorced." 

" But a woman like that can make a man do anything." 

The Colonel sighed. " True, a bad woman can make a man 
commit any folly, and a good woman can — do the same. That 
is your step-mother coming downstairs." 

Mrs. Sandring drew her arm through Dorothea's and led her 
away into palm-groves under glass. The air was hot and stuffy 
here; Dorothea avoided this comer of the villa to which the 
newcomer had taken an instinctive liking. 

"My dear Dorothea," said Mrs. Sandring. "I have not 
been twelve hours in the house, and already I have a bit of 
advice to give. Beware of Giulietta I " 

Dorothea's heart stood still — she felt it, a sensation she had 
never felt before. Yet she could not have told why she should 

" What do you mean ? " she asked, honestly. " I have little 
in common with the Countess Pini. She is not what you all 
here call ' my style.' " 

"Your style is so very superior, my dear Dorothea. Your 
father says with some truth that you look upon life as an ora- 

" He flatters me," said Dorothea, flushing. And she turned 
away and began talking vapid nonsense to Giulietta's black imp 
of a tailless " skipper " dog. 

Mrs. Sandring lifted her many-ringed hands. 

"Did it, then, itty-titty-pritty ! " 


"Nonsense," cried Mrs. Sandring sharply. "My dear 
Dolly, don't be a fool I" 

Her step-daughter resented the apostrophe, and above all 
the diminutive. She dropped the small dog to the floor. 

"The Countess Pini probably does not like me," she said, 
eagerly returning to a subject she would have preferred to 
avoid. " I cannot in fairness object, for I do not like her." 

" She does not want you to like her," replied Mrs. Sandring, 
still in those incisive tones. " She would not care tuppence 
about any woman's likes or dislikes. What she wants is the 
admiration of the men." Dorothea faintly shuddered. It 
seemed to her as if she were listening to kitchen-talk at Brod- 
ryck. " Titty, itty, pritty," was all she could find to say to the 
lapdog scratching at her knees. 

" And she gets it," sighed the quondam Baroness. 

" She is welcome to it," retorted Dorothea. 

The Baroness stared at her new step-daughter for a very 
long time. Dorothea dropped her eyelids, whereupon the 
Baroness deliberately lifted tortoise-shell glasses and stared at 
her all the more. 

" Let us go in to lunch," said the Baroness at length. 

The reply to Dorothea's telegsam came at tea-time. They 
were all assembled in the Countess's, far too big, "boudoir," 
which led to her little sanctum beyond. The boudoir was 
entirely got up in the gaudiest red, white and blue from the 
Balkans, just as it had been prepared for an illustrious visitor. 
It was still called the " Knasnia's Chamber," Knasnia being, in 
Bosnian or Herzegovinian, it appears, the proper word for 
" Queen." 

Even Archie had come in to tea, to brave them, or to feel 
less deserted. He had announced his intention of going north 
that night. 

When the servant came in with the pale scrap of paper, 
Archie took it from the salver. " Oh, I beg your pardon ! It's 
for Madame de Roden," he said. 

All eyes turned to Dorothea. The Colonel, knowing noth- 
ing of her message, jumped to the grateful conclusion that 
Mark Lester might be dead. 

She took the missive and read it. Then she went straight 
across to Egdn and held it out. 

" He is coming," she said. 

Egon looked at the words. " I am deeply grateful. I start 
at once." 


"Well," he said a little impatiently, "he has none of the 
scruples you so much dreaded. He accepts your bounty in a 
proper spirit." 

She spoke slowly : " I asked him to come for my sake. That 
is what he means by being grateful." 

"For your sake? Whatever ?" He checked himself. 

Giulietta's eyes were on them. " You did quite right," he said. 

He saw Giulietta smile, and at that moment he felt that he 
hated the woman. Everybody was looking at them, or so he 
fancied. He hated the whole lot; he led his wife away to the 
farther end. 

"I have been thinking about this morning," he said. "I 
behaved like an idiot! We can perfectly well go to Montreux 
in the spring. That will always be time enough to hear that 
he can do me no good." 

"No, no, we must not delay." 

"Why so suddenly eager?" 

"It is a chance. I have been talking to Giulietta. Egon, 
supposing the man were to die I " 

" Oh, rubbish I " he said, forcibly putting her earnestness 
away from him. 

"I must think of something. I must arrange something. 
Something is sure to turn up." 

" Mrs. Micawber I " he answered, laughing. 

But she did not understand him. Mrs. Sandring spoke 
behind them : " Lend the Colonel and me your pretty villa ; I 
will receive, your young parson there." 

They both turned hurriedly, and Dorothea saw Mark Lester 
at lunch with Mrs. Sandring I "I must think; I must 
arrange," she repeated nervously. "Egon, you believe, do you 
not, in my willingness to please you ? " 

" So much so," he answered, " that I must be more careful 
what sacrifices I demand." 

" A gentleman," said the butler, just a faint touch more 
loudly than usual, " to speak to Milord Archibald alone." 

Archie 'rose hastily and allowed himself to be conducted to 
the library. 

He started back at the door, but the butler quickly closed 
it behind him. 

" One moment I " said Konrad, of the sallow face. 

" There can be no need," replied Archibald, much agitated, 
" of any conversation between us." 

"You think not? Do not call it conversation, then. Call 


it remarks from me to you." Konrad pulled at his long mous- 
tache, smiling faintly. He was admirably frock-coated; his 
hair was very thin at the top. 

" There can be little cause for those," said Archie, very red. 

"You are mistaken. It appears absolutely necessary that 
I should come and call you a cad." 

"Are you crazy?" cried Archibald, with a nervous look at 
the* bell-pull. 

" They always say that when they have rendered plain speech 
inevitable," remarked Konrad deprecatingly, looking out of the 
window and speaking gently as to himself. "As for me, I 
detest these vulgar — ^how shall I call them? — downrightnesses, 
but what can I do ? All day I have waited patiently at the hotel 
for some message, and now I hear that Lord Archibald intends 
to leave to-night for the north ! " 

" Good Gkxl, do you mean to say that you want to kill me 
because you have robbed me of my wife ? " cried the young Eng- 

"You have chosen to insult your wife, a woman — ^that is 
your business. You seem not to have observed that the insult 
meant nothing unless it hit me as well ? " 

Archibald's face grew violet; he advanced upon his antag- 
onist with clenched fists. " Hypocrite and liar I " he began. 

" Silence ! " said the other, falling back a step, his frock- 
coat very tight. " That is quite enough, and all the rest so 
useless I To whom can my brother address himself ? Shall we 
say Signer Pini ? " 

" Why not^ " said poor Archie. 

"Our interview, then, is at an end. You would greatly 
oblige me by leaving me in possession, for a few moments, of 
this room." Archibald walked out, and Konrad immediately 
sent the butler for Egon. 

" I refuse to have anything to do with it I " declared Egon. 

Konrad stared at him. "Have you forgotten your A. B. 
C. ? " demanded the younger brother. 

" I don't care. This is not a decent duel. Why can't you 
leave the young chap alone ? " 

" Of course, if you insist, I must apply to the Colonel." 

"You are bent, then, on slaying him?" 

"Egon, I fear your intercourse with your very good wife 
is spoiling you for the ordinary etiquette of society. I am not 
*bent upon slaying him,' as you graciously choose to put it. 


On the contrary, I am conscious of the fact that his death would 
be a nuisance." 

" Then I understand you still less." 

'^But I am bent upon teaching him a lesson, the young 

" There is no need to fight him." 

" No need to fight him, when he has publicly accused me, a 
Prussian officer, of insulting his wife ? Egon, you must be out 
of your senses. Say at once, that you prefer to fight shy of 
duels ! True, you are a civilian, an invalid 1 I can quite enter 
into your feeling, where your own brother is concerned. You 
feel nervous. I will ask Colonel Sandring." 

"'SdeathI" said Egon, between his teeth. "Tell me what 
you want done, and how." 

" You may prefer to know that he just now called me a liar 
and a hypocrite, and attempted to strike me ? " 

" That is enough. I wish he had not done that, for it gives 
you too good a pretext. Yet I can understand him — and I like 
him for it." 

Konrad's green turned livid. " Say your say," he answered. 
"You are my brother: you km)w you are safe. By-the-bye, 
may I ask, before we separate, did you write that letter to the 

"I did." 

"Well, I thank you for that. This may be our last con- 
versation, and I thank you for that. Frankly, I should not 
have done it for you." 

"It's all right. After you have killed Archie, you may 
marry his wife to-morrow." 

Konrad swore at his brother. "Are you really too stupid 
to understand," he said, " that I want to wound Archibald Foye 
in the arm or the leg? Then his wife will stop with him and 
nurse him, I presume. Yes, I think there will be a reconcilia- 
tion. The worst thing that could happen to me would be his 
death." He spoke quite coolly, reviewing his little plan as he 
put it into words. 

" I have nothing to do with your disgusting considerations," 
replied Egon, much relieved, for Konrad had an immense repu- 
tation as a marksman. " You ask me to be your second in an 
encounter with a man who has called you a liar, and I cannot 
refuse you. Whom has Archibald chosen? Pini? I will go 
to him at once." 

" I must tell you," said Egon to Pini, " that my sole object. 


in becoming Konrad's second, is to do my best for Archibald 

" Unusual, but not unreasonable," replied Pini. " Will you 

'^The only possible weapon is pistols. Archibald can use 
no other. The range not too far." 

"Hal" cried Pini, amazed. 

"It gives the worse shot a better chance," explained Egon 

Pini paused, in thought. " I understand perfectly," he said. 
" 1 understand as if you had told me all. Your brother wishes 
only to wing Lord Archibald, and you wish to ensure this re- 
sult. I 'am an old man — since I have grown rich, I have felt 
much older — but I am not yet senile. I understand. Surely, 
a brother as second is an undesirable thing, against my concep- 
tions of duelling ? " 

" There is no one else. I cannot implicate my father-in- 
law," replied Egon stiffly. 

" The Colonel might not take your view. Well, according 
to your lights, you are a good man, von Koden." The old 
Italian smiled, a shrewd little smile. "Ah, Santa Maria! 
Open thine eyes on the world, young man — open thine eyes on 
the world 1" 

" To revert to the matter on hand," answered Egon more 
stiffly still, " I sho\ild say, each of the combatants to fire once." 

"Impossible!" cried Pini angrily. "Keally, von Roden, 
you know as well as I do, that a man cannot be his brother's 
second! Why don't you send ine the Colonel?" 

" I insist, absolutely, on one shot only," replied Egon, for 
he hoped that his brother's single bullet, aimed at the arm, 
might pass on one side. 

" Insist ! Absolutely ! " replied Pini, and his delicate nos- 
trils swelled. 

" Count Pini," exclaimed Egon, in a burst of frankness, 
^' there are points on which we disagree, but there are points on 
which we agree. I know I ought not to be my brother's second. 
When I tell you that I am trying to prevent a murder, I am 
sure of your aid." 

The impressionable Italian caught the young Oerman's 
hand. "Per Bacco, you are right!" he said. "The heathen 
gods and the classic sentiments all honest men have in common. 
There is a point where all meet and understand each other. I 
understand thee, Egon von Eoden ! " 


On the following morning, then, in the little wood beyond 
Forleone — in the little primrose-dell known to all who have 
stayed any time at Baveno — ^the four men met and the duel was 
fought. Count Pini's servants remained stationed a few hun- 
dred paces off, with the village apothecary, who was garrulous 
and important, and immensely pleased. 

Lord Archibald looked outwardly calm, but very serious, and 
rather sad. He gave two letters to Pini, one for his mother, 
one for his wife. " I have nothing to say to any one," he said, 
fixing his pale eyes straight on Konrad, who stood sullen and 
correct, " excepting that I never, in all my life, had the faintest 
intention of injuring any one." 

The antagonists took their places, first fire having fallen to 
Archibald by lot. In the expectant silence, 

" Count — ^Pini ! " said Archibald, standing ready. A smile 
flickered over his features; one wonders, did he, at that 
moment, recognize the pun? 

His bullet soared wide over his adversary's head. 

" One — ^two — ^three," said Pini. 

Konrad's pistol rose, with a sure rush — ^he fired. 

At that moment Archibald swayed a couple of inches to the 
right — ^they all saw himj— the next instant he was down on the 
ground, and the seconds were at his side. 

" The bullet is through his breast," said Egon. " Signer 
Pini, would you call for your doctor ? " 

The apothecary came bustling up, and arranged, and 
examined, and made a great fuss. " The lung is perforated," 
he said. "There must be internal hemorrhage," and began 
giving a lot of details he could not possibly know. 

" He is not seriously hurt ? " questioned Egon. 

"He is a dead man," replied the apothecary with infinite 
relish, and he added, being an advanced " revolutionary," " The 
Milord is no longer a Milord." 

But Egon had rushed across to Konrad. 

" He dodged, and I killed him," said Konrad, unmoved. 

" You lie in the dead man's face I " retorted Egon hotly. 
" He swayed : it was but a natural sway of the body. If you 
could not help it, nor could he! Let him alone, and get away, 
while you can." 

"That is true," replied Konrad calmly. "I must get 
through the Gotthard at once. Good-bye, then, dear boy. It 
is a most unpleasant incident. I do not doubt he will recover, 
and his dodging causes me a lot of trouble. What annoys me 


most is that he won the toss-up. I have always been so lucky 
in that hitherto. Supposing my luck begins to abandon me? 
What a good thing for you." He had spoken, while putting 
on his coat : he now held out his hand, but Egon did not take it. 

" Wh — ew 1 " said Konrad, " is it war, then, between thee and 
me? So be it. Ta— ta!" 

Meanwhile Archibald was being moved to the little inn at 
Forleone, but before he reached it, he had ceased to breathe. 


" My wife I " said Egon. He ejaculated the two words, to 
himself, in German, but Count Pini had a smatttering of many 
European tongues. 

" Undoubtedly," replied Pini, leaning back in the wagonette. 

" It is always the woman who is the serious complication," 
he added. "You had better ask the Colonel to make your 

Roden bit his lip with annoyance at having spoken. " You," 
he said, " have another task before you. * His widow " 

"Will be easier to deal with than your wife. Pardon me, 
of course, it is no business of mine, but I cannot help taking 
an interest — a fatherly interest — in your ravishing spouse. Ah, 
la bella donna I Ah, che gran' cuore d'orel If I were you, I 
would not return home without stopping at yonder little chapel 
and offering five francs' worth of candles — ^but there, it is no 
usel And even I must admit, that I have often offered and 
lost, as to-day, before we started, for your Archie." He sighed, 
a little half -amused, sceptical sigh. " Some day, at Monte 
Carlo, she will desert me — hush I — the money is very near spent. 
!N'onsense, even omnipotence cannot alter the mathematics of 
my system." 

"Is it really a mathematical certainty?" questioned Egon, 
for the sake of something to say. 

" There is always the ten, but I do not like even to say it, 
for fear the dear Madonna should find out." 

"The ten?" 

"Yes, if 'that comes out twice running, I lose more than — 
but I beg you, let us not talk of it. Especially not on this un- 
lucky morning. I had promised Our Lady ten per cent, of my 
earnings. I have punctually paid them — even where there was 
that doubt about a bad Napoleon, I paid — and, as soon as I am 
possessed of a competency, I deliver my secret to the world and 
ruin the whole concern. Up yonder " — ^he pointed skywards — 
" they are waiting for that event to canonize me : * Santo Bar- 
tolommeo Minorel' And perhaps, when I have been dead a 
hundred years, they will canonize me for it here below. The 


Slayer of the Dragon of Monte Carlo I A true twentieth cen^ 
tury saint I " 

" I wonder what you would call a competency," said Egon. 
"Not, mind you, that I should ever inquire." 

"Two million lire," replied Pini promptly. "Eighty 
thousand lire per annum. Think what the various Monte Carlo 
princes possess, and then say whether I am extreme? Drive 
straight up to the hotel door" — this to his coachman — ^he 
alighted : " Never be extreme with the gods. The Lady Archi- 
bald Foye is at home ? I must see her at once." 

But Miladi Foye had already gone down to the lake, and 
thither Signer Pini followed her. 

"What I have to tell, I have to tell," he said to her. "I 
know not whether you are aware that your husband and Kon- 
rad von Koden met over yesterday morning's quarrel ? " He 
stopped, and his keen eyes cut into hers. 

" Konrad is dead ! " she exclaimed. 

" No, it is Archie," he answered, for her lack of decorum dis- 
gusted him utterly. 

She sat down on a bench by the lake-shore; with all his 
shrewdness he could read nothing in those empty cruel eyes 
of hers. 

"He died like the simple-hearted boy that he was," con- 
tinued Pini, feeling that he must say something, as he could 
not immediately slip away. " Simple-hearted and straight-for- 
ward, doing what he thought was his duty." 

" Thank you," she replied, " I knew him as well, I imagine, 
as you did. I liked him. Yesterday you would have called 
him a fool." 

" Miladi " 

"Never mind. He would probably have called you one. 
Men are like that. I am not a philosopher. I speak French 
badly. But all men, with us women, they — ^how do you call it? 
— they play into each other's hands. So Archibald is dead. I 
liked him. It need not have been." In these last five words 
there pierced suddenly a tone of unmistakable regret. 

" It had become inevitable," said Pini pitilessly, and held 
out her husband's farewell letter to this woman who sat smooth- 
ing out her dress. 

" He might have killed Konrad," she said, as she took it, 
and now the disappointment in every accent rang out plain. 

" The one could shoot and the other couldn't," replied Pini. 

"A man who can't shoot is a woman," replied the widow. 


and began reading her letter. Her attitucLe broke down, as 
her gaze met the dead boy's familiar scrawl. Her color came 
and went ; she trembled from head to foot in her violent efforts 
to control herself. She laid the paper down in her lap. There 
was not a word of reproach in it, only lubberly, mis-spelt love 
and farewell. ^'He was accounted a very good shot in the 
covers," she ezclaimed with indignant vehemence, but the tears 
were coursing down her cheeks. 

'^ It is not the same," replied Pini, shaking his grey old head. ' 
^' Well, the thing is done, Lady Archibald, and nothing remains 
now but sackcloth and ashes." 

She started to her feet: "Very different things remain to 
me," she said. " I am a Catholic, too, but I am not a dotard." 

" Ah, true," he remarked, softly, " you will get the most be- 
coming mourning, better than sackcloth, and you will weep in 
public, not ashes, but pearls." 

Their masks were off now; they were telling each other 
truths. But finesse was beyond the Biermadel. She shrugged 
her comely shoulders and walked away. She walked straight, 
not hotelwards, but to the Palazzo 'Arriet along the lake-shore, 
and on the marble steps of the little Palazzo port she stood 
still, for in one of the pleasure boats, balancing there, lay Doro- 
thea, enjoying, as often, the bright, brisk morning air. 

" Good-morning," said Dickie. 

"Good-morning," replied Dorothea gravely. 

" It is a beautiful morning." 

" Beautiful." 

" And you are enjoying it ? " 

" Very much," replied Dorothea, for she was happy in a re- 
conciliation with Egon. 

" You are fortunate to be able to do so." 

" Yes." 

" Other people have not your advantages." 

Dorothea waited, for she trusted that Dickie's unrestful 
heart was about to unburthen itself of its sins. 

"They have not your callousness." 

Dorothea's eyes opened wide. 

" May I ask what you think, Madame von Boden, of this 
beautiful morning's beautiful work?" 

Suddenly Dorothea realized that her husband had been pre- 
occupied, that he had kissed her with unusual gravity, on going 
out early "to shoot." 

" Has any new misfortune befallen us ? Speak, quick I " 


Lady Archibald stood back. She knew not whether to be 
touched by the " ua " or whether to resent it. 

" You are not aware, then," she said, " that Lord Archibald 
was — ^murdered this morning by your husband and your brother- 

" What I " screamed Dorothea, and sprang, tottering, to her 
feet in the boat, that heaved recklessly forwards. "What? 
What? What? " In a moment she was calm. " Tell me what 
you mean, what has happened," she cried, and tried, with 
trembling hands, to steady the boat towards the steps. 

"I really believe you do not know," said Lady Archibald. 
" These two men, your husband and his brother, have this morn- 
ing killed my husband in what they choose to call a duel." 

"But he isn't dead. He's wounded. Oh, my God, make 
her speak the truth 1 He isn't dead I " cried Dorothea, as she 
leaped on to the stairs and came running up them. She 
approached close to Lady Archibald, almost touched her, then 
shrank back. 

The strain which had held up the other woman seemed sud- 
denly to snap. Lady Archibald broke into mingled impreca- 
tions and tears — " It is you and your cursed lot who have done 
it ! " she cried. " God curse you and them 1 I am a conmion 
woman among all you fine bodies — ^well, you, then, pious, proper- 
tongued hypocrite-^I am glad I have got .you — ^you shall hear 
honest language for once in your life ! We were happy enough 
till we came amongst you — oh, all pious, you, all high-bom and 
proper! Butter wouldn't melt in your mouth, my fine lady, and 
your high-souled husband, and the noble Pini, and the Prussian 
officer, Konrad, and Giulietta — oh, Giuliettal And you with 
your gambler of a father and his baroness — oh, you — ^you go to 
church and pray so I "^he folded her hands and cast up her 
streaming eyes — ^" you, you are pious, you say ' Lord 'a' mercy 
upon us I ' the while you are turning men's heads. You, I hate 
you most of all. He liked you. He was stupid. See" — she 
flung her crumpled letter at Dorothea's feet — ^'^he has left you 
his foolish collections, to arrange them — ^he says you have a 
sense of f on'! " 

She stopped, trembling, and with steady eyes pouring hate 
at Dorothea : 

" * Of all women I have ever known,' he would say * Doro- 
thea alone has a real sense of fon.' Often he has said that to 
me as a joke. It is because you laughed at his pons. It is 
easy to laugh once or twice in a twelvemonth. I laughed many 


times, and I could not. God in Heaven, am I a bad woman, 
and this creature a good one, because she laugheth at ' pons ' ? " 

Dorothea, shivering away from the other's reckless fury, had 
fled up the marble ascent, through the gardens. And there, by 
the statue of Cupid, with the broken arrow, among the laurels, 
she met Egon coming down, in much hesitancy of soul and firm- 
ness of countenance, to seek her, from the empty house in front 
of which was still turning the wagonette that had brought him 

" Egon, I know all. I know all," she stammered. She leant 
back against the pedestal. 

"It could not be helped," he said: tears that he did not 
know of stood in his honest eyes. 

But she put the lame words aside. " Tell me, at least, that 
it was not you," she said. Her pride had kept back, face to 
face with Lady Archibald, the very utterance of his name. 

" Me I " he exclaimed in astonishment, and a little annoy- 
ance, "Me?" She was glad of the annoyance. "Dorothea, 
how can you be so foolish? And you say, you know all I A 
duel had become inevitable between Archibald and Konrad. 
Poor Archie had called Konrad a liar and hypocrite. Well, 
then, of course they had to fight; you understand that?" 

But Dorothea did not answer. 

" I became Konrad's second against my will, it was the best 
thing I could do for Archie. As his second — ^but of course that 
was utterly out of the question — ^I could have done much less. 
I arranged that only one shot should be fired — ^Dorothea, are 
you listening to me ? " 

But Dorothea did not answer. 

" I give you my word of honor it was all an accident. Kon- 
rad had declared to me his resolve to hit Archie in the arm. 
He wanted, I believe, to get rid of the whole business. If 
Archibald is slightly hurt, he reasoned, his wife will go back 
to him and nurse him: there will be a reconciliation — ^mean- 
while Konrad could have got away north." 

Dorothea turned dumb eyes and looked at her husband. 

" Then, you see," the latter went on eagerly, " Archie some- 
how swerved to the right — ^Konrad could not help it — ^he was 
aiming at the right arm so as to keep clear of the heart ^" 

" Oh, don't I don't I " shuddered Dorothea, with a cry like 
an animal that is hurt. 

"Dolly, dearest, how could any one do otherwise? Tell me, 
as the world is, what could I have done ? " 


" He is dead," she said. 

" I tell you it could not be helped. Don't you see, Kon- 
rad " 

She held up her hand as if to keep his words from reaching 

" He is dead," she repeated. 

" Well, then, tell me what you think I ought to have done." 
His voice had quite changed. She looked at him still, stead- 
fastly, and into the look welled all tenderness and sadness, all 
pleading and love. 

"You must pity me, Egon, and bear with me," she said 
gently, "and try to make allowances for me. My surround- 
ings have been so different: a year ago, you see, I had never 
left Brodryck. And now I am here. I cannot understand what 
you are saying. I only know that, as I understand things, as 
they understand things among the people I have always lived 
with, my husband, my loved husband, has helped to commit a 
murder. That is all I can understand, you see. I do not say 
I am right. You must try to make allowances for me." She 
put up her hands to her forehead, speaking steadily and softly, 
" I cannot look at it, as yet, in any other light." 

"I am a murderer, then?" questioned Egon. "That is 
what it comes to?" 

" Egon, he is dead. Think what that means. A few hours 
ago he was here on earth, and now " 

" Oh, of course, if you put it like that ^" 

She flashed round at him. " How else can I put it ? Are 
we heathen ? Is every word that we speak of religion a lie ? " 

"Religion has nothing to do with duelling." 

Again there broke from Dorothea's lips that terrible cry of 

"Dolly — Dolly, darling, do be reasonable, I am as sorry as 
you, but — don't you see? — there are things that have to take 
their course, while the world is the world. Nobody can alter 
them. The law of duelling is one, between men of honor. It 
is right. It is as old as creation." 

" As old as Cain and Abel," said Dorothea bitterly. 

" You are only making me wretched, and yourself, by per- 
sisting in treating me as a murderer. Come, let us say no more 
about the miserable business. Let us forget it. Kiss me ! " He 
held out his hand, but she shrank away from it. 

" My God I " he said, and in his mind arose the remembrance 


of Konrad and himgelf thus face to face, an hour ago — ^Is it 
war, then, between thee and me ? 

" Do you mean to say you will not take my hand ? " he said. 

She burst into vehement weeping. "It isn't that," she 
said. " Egon, I can take your hand, but what does that alter? 
You say: let us not speak of it: what does that alter? You 
say, let us forget I Forget what? That, to my sight, be it 
right or wrong, you have committed murder; that you approve 
it; that the soul of Archibald Foye is required by Almighty 
God at your hands; that you say: duelling is no part of 
religion, as if there were any part of our lives outside religion 
^-that you — ^you — oh, God help me — ^I love you — how can two 
walk together, unless they be agreed?" 

" They cannot," said Egon quickly. " Agree with me, then, 
dearest! Try to understand." 

" To understand," she repeated dully. " That is what I 
have been saying. Egon, let us go into the house together: 
let us pray God in Heaven together to forgive you your terrible 

He drew himself up. " I have acted," he said, " like a Prus- 
sian and a gentleman. Frau von Koden, some day you will 
say that it was so." 

And he left her. She did not cry the word " Never I " after 
him, though it sprang to her lips. She did not deny; she did 
not recall. She stood, rooted to the ground, against the broken 
Cupid, watching all that was left of her happiness sink away 
into a cloud. 

"Of course," said the Baroness, to Eoden, in the palm cor- 
ner, amongst the perfumes and the smells, "I see it all. Oh, 
you are quite right not to Utter a word against your wife. But 
the silence of you men is usually as explanatory as your speech. 
Only a woman can lie with her mouth shut. I said at once 
to Sandring: there will be a terrible shindy between your 
daughter and her husband. 'No shindy? Well, that is still 
worse. Any shindy is better than a solemn estrangement. 
Would you mind my giving you a bit of advice ? " 

"No," replied Egon, for he really fancied any one's aid 
might be of use. 

" That is rather nice of you. Eh hien^ go at once to Mont- 
reux; see this man. You have never been away from her as 
yet? So much the better. For small estrangements thC/Cure 
is separation; for big it is the kill. Go. If he says he can- 


not heal you, it will melt her heart ; if he says he can, it will 
be the same. In any case, go I Meanwhile, I, with the Colonel, 
will accompany Dolly to Bel Respiro." 

"And there she will have her friend to occupy her," said 
Egon. "It is true; I can just run there and back; if I know 
his opinion, I can wait till the spring." So, without much 
leave-taking, in solemn sadness and mutual discouragement, he 

Konrad had dashed through the Gotthard to Lucerne. His 
intention was to hasten to his mother at Wiesbaden, and from 
there to put himself in communication with Count Koden- 
Rheyna. As soon as it was possible, he must marry. 

At Lucerne he got a telegram from Dickie, who had also 
fled, to the Grand Hotel, Territet, from the scandals of Baveno. 
" Come to me at once. I am wretched. I shall kill myself." 

At this last sentence he laughed aloud. And he paced up 
and down his hotel-room a few minutes in silence. 

" I never knew a woman with such arms," he said. And he 
took the train across to Territet. 





There was much more in the cry than mere recognition, or 
than even the heartiest welcome to any individual friend. 

Dorothea stood on the landing-stage, amongst the usual 
rabble of porters and hangers-on. The little steamer from 
Luino was rounding slowly in the dark-blue Borromean bay. 
The shadows from the snow-lit mountains lay across the peace- 
ful water. 

On the deck stood Mark Lester waving his cap. And in his 
face rose up before the Frau von Roden the whole of her child- 
hood and girlhood, a mirage of the soul. In a moment it was 
gone; they say that drowning men so see the past. 

Close by, yet far away, the snow-lit mountains flung their 
shadows forward, across the troubled lake. 

She was asking him, first in her thoughts, then with her 
eyes, with her lips at last, of all the hundred, memories a 
woman's heart can hold. Women remember; a man, at the 
utmost, does not forget. 

"And your husband?" said Mark. "He is well, I hope?" 

" He is not here," answered Dorothea. She caught the ex- 
pression he banished from his face. It was one of satisfaction. 
She hastened on. " He has gone to consult a Swiss doctor about 
his foot. He hopes to be back in a day or two." 

" Will the foot be cured in that time ? " queried Mark, with 
a sigh. 

"It is only a consultation. Perhaps we shall go there in 
the spring for treatment. Meanwhile, you must hasten to get 

"Oh, I am well already 1" He threw up his head in the 
old way. He believed the truth of his words. 

" You will find my father and — and his wife at Bel Respire. 


Mark, what did you think when you crossed the Dutch frontier? 
Has the world not grown suddenly wide ? " 

" I had heen as far as Heidelberg before," he said proudly. 

"True, I forgot. We have a very long drive, you know, 
Mark. We shall have heaps of time to talk." 

" So much the better. The other people at the villa will 
hardly care for our subjects of conversation." 

" i^ow, Mark, you are not to begin by being * gauche.' " 

" Shouldn't I be that if I were to talk to your step-mother 
of Em and Doll and the children at the lodge ? " 

"My father's wife," said Dorothea, who could not bear to 
hear hhn use a nearer term, " My father's wife is prepared to 
make a great deal of you. She has come into contact, she told 
me, with all sorts and conditions of men, excepting a Protestant 

" She is a Koman Catholic I " exclaimed Mark. 

" My dear boy, what else did you expect her to be ? " Sud- 
denly Dorothea felt quite experienced and wordly-wise next to 
this youth. And the feeling did her good. 

" The wider you find the world," she said, " now you have 
got so much farther than Heidelberg, the better it will be for 
us all." And then they talked of Brodryck, and drove in 
silence, because they had so much to say, and talked again of 
Brodryck till Orta filled the view. 

" That is the house," said Dorothea. " That is Bel Kespiro. 
The white dove, we call it, nestling against the pines." 

"Whose bit of poetry is that? Yours, I suppose?" 

"No, it is Egon's I am not poetical. Dear me, I quite 
forgot to show you the Palazzo 'Arriet I " 

"Is that anywhere near?" 

"No, it is close to the landing-place at Baveno. No, in- 
deed ; I am rather glad it isn't near." 

" Why so ? I thought you had '' 

" Because Giulietta Pini lives there. Mark' ^" She spoke 

hurriedly ; she bent forward ; they were climbing up the avenue 
to the villa. " You remember that morning in the churchyard, 
a year ago, on the 13th of December, when you told me I should 
always stay at Brodryck, always in my little circle of Brodryck 
•^you remember, Mark?" 

" I remember." 

" You were not much of a prophet, Mark." He smiled. 

"And when you told me that a woman should close her 


heart to wickedness, should never see anything of the world 
around, would never learn to know it ^" 

" Dorothea, I do not think " 

" You were not much of a preacher, Mark." 

" But it isn't fair to suggest *' 

" Is it not ? To suggest what ? That we get out ? For, you 
see, we are at the door. Father, this is Mr. Lester." 

The Colonel had turned the house-comer at the sound of 

" I hear you speak English ? " said the Colonel. 

" A leetel," said Mark. He was afraid of the Colonel, and 
anxious to avoid him, but he found him alone in the drawing- 
room when he descended to dinner half an hour later. 

"Women are always behind time," said the Colonel, "and 
my wife is the most unpunctual of women. She is late in all 
things, even in growing old." He smiled to himself, and then 
saddened at thought of having wasted so neat a thing. 

" I hope you smoke ? " he burst out desi)erately. 

" Day and night," said Mark Lester. 

"Bravo. A cigar is between men what a bit of scandal is 
between women; it makes them friends at once." 

"I beg your pardon?" replied Lester, standing before the 
famous della Robbia. 

" Never mind. Do you admire that ? " 

" I suppose so. Is it very admirable ? " 

" Oh, well — people think so. It is a della Eobbia, you know. 
Personally, I prefer modem art, but of course I can see this is 
beautiful. Admire it when my son-in-law comes back. I must 
say this of Egon : he does allow you to praise fine things, even 
when they belong to other people. Have you any specia; 

" I read a great deal." 

" Oh ! Well, I suppose that is a hobby." 

" And I walk a great deal." 

" That I should have called a virtue. It is the one thing I 
can't get myself to do, in spite of everybody urging me. I have 
had a few twinges of the gout of late. You will have to take 
me long walks in the woods." 

Before Lester could express satisfaction at this prospect, the 
door was thrown wide open and the Baroness sailed in. 

Her hair was frizzled all about her forehead, a sunset of 
Turner; the snows lay low around her neck as down the hills 


in winter; her robe was a glamorous shimmer, like stars upon 
the sea. 

^' Bonjour, Monsieur le Pasteur ! " she said. She had told 
Dorothea, for many days, and many times a day, with much 
laughter, that she must practise not saying " Monsieur FAbbe." 
"I am sure to do it sooner or later, my dearest Dorothea. I 
used to meet so many abbes about the house of my cousin di 
Casa Profonda " 

"After all, there is not so very much difference," she told 
Lester, to whom she immediately confided her embarrassment. 
" You parsons are but priests who can marry, just as the priests 
are but parsons who can flirt." 

"There are other points of difference," replied the young 
minister stiffly, for he was anxious neither to protrude nor to 
deny his religion. But at this statement the Colonel guffawed, 
and then coughed to hide it. 

Dorothea came in hastily, flurried. "I am so vexed," she 
said. " I was looking at the home-letters Mark brojight. A 
thousand pardons! Mark, will you take in Mrs. Sandring?" 

"Why, Dolly, you look quite brilliant and bright again!", 
said the Colonel. "You have been so dull of late. You will 
get over Egon's absence before we have him back ! " 

Mrs. Sandring kicked her husband under the table, but on 
this point they differed, as on many. She considered that the 
estrangement between Egon and Dorothea should be tacitly 
admitted, while the Colonel was of opinion that it ought to be 
ignored." Each, in a different way, strove to remove it, he by 
much praise of Egon, she, by still more continuous condemna- 
tion of Konrad. It could not be said that both failed to touch 
Dorothea's heart; on the contrary they never stopped banging 

" I have news for you, dear," said the Baroness now, at the 
very dinner-table. " Other people bring news, you see, as well 
as Monsieur le Pasteur." And she smiled archly at Lester. 
Her husband scowled across at her. 

"Marriage has developed every fault that I knew of, or 
didn't," thought the Colonel. "By Jove, what a mercy she 
keeps her looks ! " Aloud he said : " Dorothea doesn't care for 
news, unless it's from Brodryck or Montreux." 

"But mine is from Montreux!" cried the Baroness, "or 
rather from Territet, which comes to the same." 

"Barbolat " exclaimed Dorothea, turning pale. 

" Oh, it's nothing to do with Egon's knee, I mean ankle ! " 


(This constant forgetfulness was a very sore point with Doro- 
thea.) "Never mind about that, my dear; time heals every 
strain. No, my letter is from a very old friend of mine, the 
Comtesse de Fanfarde, who always spends her winters at the 
Grand Hotel, Territet." 

" And what does she say about Egon ? " 

" Still harping on Egon ? Not a word. She barely knows 
of his existence. But she tells me a lady is attracting universal 
comment at Territet, and that lady is the widow of Archibald 

" Oh, please, let us forget Lady Archibald I " exclaimed 
Dorothea in some agitation. Mark liCster gazed at her. " For 
an hour," she added, " I have been talking of decent i>eople only. 
It has been quite refreshing." 

" My dear creature I " protested Mrs. Sandring. Though 
she was a baroness and had married a commoner whose first wife 
had been a baroness also, she considered these distinctions be- 
tween people decent and otherwise as unsatisfactory. 

" I mean what I say I " persisted Dorothea, carried forward 
by the novelty of her attitude. " Let the unfortunate woman 
rest I I regret that I ever knew her. She is surely not a fit 
subject for discussion." 

"It appears to me," replied the older lady, with noticeable 
spirit, "that I am the best judge what subjects I deem fit to 
discuss. However, never mind. Colonel, I do not know what 
you consider yourself, but I should call you supine." 

" You would be right," said the Colonel, coolly measuring 
drops of ketchup. " The one supreme thing I have enjoyed in 
this earthly desert, has been fighting, between men, and the 
one thing I have abhorred has been fighting, between women. 
I am absolutely, hopelessly supine. But this turbot is good. 
Dolly, how do you manage to get such good sea-fish so far in- 

" I have a first-rate place at Zurich," replied his daughter, 
with ready good-humor. "I am so glad you think me a fair 
housekeeper, father." 

"Well, I must say I never thought you would care about 

" Do you? " put in Mark. He looked anxious; he was more 
and more troubled about Dorothea. 

" As a means to an end," she replied demurely. 

"To what end?" The ColonePs voice grew aggressive. 


"The masculine heart. A wise woman serves up her love 
in sauces, Mark." 

Lester laughed; he was resolved to behave prettily. He 
turned to the frowning Baroness, and asked, in his halting Eng- 
lish, whether she liked sauce? 

" Not from my hostess," retorted the lady. 

The Colonel looked up. " It is," he said, " as if the soul of 
the dead Archie were amongst us." 

" You, then, revert to the subject ! " cried his wife, watching 
her opportunity. "I have no desire to dwell on undesirable 
things I Can I help it that they occur in my husband's family ? 
I only thought it my duty to inform Dorothea that Konrad is 
at Territet with Lady Archibald Foye ! " 

" Good G ! " exclaimed the Colonel. 

Dorothea winced and looked at Mark, but Mark's eyes were 
upon his plate. 

"And it appears that — really, I hardly like to say it — 
but ^" 

" Oh, not before the servants ! " exclaimed Dorothea in an 

" The servants ? " repeated the Baroness in amazement and 
scorn. Involuntarily her big eyes sought the impenetrable 
butler's with what was almost a wink. The butler belonged to 
the English owner of Bel Respiro : he spoke French not worse 
and English better than Mrs. Sandring. 

" The idea of mixing them up in the conversation ; I never 
heard of such a thing," the lady continued fluently in her native 
language. "Really, Dorothea, I must say that your ideas of 
breeding — ^no. Colonel, I am not forgetting myself, but, really, 
between Brodryck and Casa Profonda — well, least said, soonest 
mended. But really — ^when I think of my youth, we never had 
any unpleasantnesses in our family. There was an odor of 
peace and propriety about my girlish days. No more than you, 
Dorothea, was I accustomed to improper people. My father, a 
gentleman of the old school, with breeches and buckles ^" 

"Lord, are you as old as that?" exclaimed the tortured 

*^With herP' said Dorothea. For a moment they were 
again alone: her suffering broke through her reserve. 

The Baroness smiled. " Aha! " she said; and, as the butler 
re-entered, " I will tell you all about it after dinner," she said, 
and they talked of the weather. 

"What, then do you know? Tell me all." Dorothea closed 


the drawing-room door upon her step-mother and herself. 

" Mj dear, you are tragic. You speak as if I were possessed 
of some terrible secret." 

" It seems to me that you are." 

" By no means. Only a bit of gossip." The Baroness threw 
herself down in an easy chair. 

" It is none the less terrible for not being a secret." 

" Oh I Ah ! Yes, of course. Egon is your husband." 

Dorothea spoke unwillingly, standing in the middle of the 
room, her back turned. "What has Egon to do with Lady 
Archibald Foye?" 

"How you jump at conclusions! She has nothing to do 
with Egon, except that ids name is Roden — and yours." 

" We cannot be responsible for the sins of all our relations," 
said Dorothea quickly. "No family would. Would yours?" 
She meant nothing especial, in her nervousness, but the quon- 
dam Fleuryse believed it an intentional, and cowardly, thrust. 

" Soon, i)erhaps, you will have enough of your own," she said 
sourly. "Meanwhile Konrad is courting the widow Archie. 
Why not ? People will talk, laugh a bit, perhaps : no one will 
seriously blame them. Your use of the word ' sin ' is absurd." 

Dorothea turned and looked at her, tried to speak, stopped. 

"Yes, you may stare," continued the step-mother, toying 
with her laces. " We have now been several days together, and 
we have never had a serious talk. I like you, and you are my 
husband's daughter. I am nearly twice your age. You must 
let me say things, if I want to say them. I have never been 
able to act a part. I am all simplicity and truth." 

Dorothea sat down on a stool, by the easy chair. "If you 
can help me in any way, I shall be only too grateful," she said 
heartily. " I admit it. I am completely * depaysee.' " 

" Of course you are, but has it never occurred to you, that 
the fact of being ' depaysee ' does not immediately give one the 
right to condemn all one's surroundings?" 

Dorothea knitted her eyebrows in thought. 

" It is a common delusion," added the Baroness coolly. 

" Aunt Mary used to tell me of my faults," said Dorothea. 
" I miss her very much." 

" What you need far more, I should think, my dear, is the 
pointing out of other people's virtues." 

" You think I am censorious ? " 

" And especially, the being warned against your own. Mon 
Dieu, I reaUy believe I like you. Now, what do you expect, I 


would ask, in Heaven's name? Do you expect the i)eople 
around you to be good? Were they good at Brodryck?" 

"No," said Dorothea softly. "Still, they were dif- 
ferent '' 

" Of ccmrse they were different. Every entourage shows its 
vices and virtues. Probably they went to church and abused 
their neighbors? Are we, then, who do not abuse our neigh- 
bors, to be compelled to go to church as well? What shall we 
do, coming out ? Believe me, the pious people have faults which 
are born of their good qualities. We — ^we have good qualities 
which are born of our faults." 

" But right is right," cried the trembling Dorothea. " God's 
will " 

" Is woman's will, say the poets. It is true. No woman I 
ever knew of willed to do anything wrong." 

" Then I am the first," said Dorothea. 

" Well, self-abasement is wrong. But you are sincere ; you 
do not will it. Women do enough evil and harm in the world, 
but they never want to." 

Dorothea felt hopeless. 

" In their hearts, every now and then, love takes a wrong " 
turning, but he doesn't know of it. He thinks he is going 

Dorothea began to recognize her father's voice. 

"It is men who make all the misery. Look at Konrad, 
Dorothea, you have come out of your shell, with very few 
feathers on, and an absolute trust in the kindly intentions of 
the sportsman, the poulterer, the cook ! Call him what you will, 
it's all the same. He nurses your dear little heart, and he 
fattens it, and fondles it, but all the time he has only one pre- 
occupation. He is going to eat it in the end." 

The Colonel's accents had dropped away from the Baroness's 

" Mon Dieu, it is I who am tragic," she cried with a laugh. 
"And things are bright enough for those who take them 
brightly. By the disposition of Providence the fowler, with all 
his strength, is a fool. Those of us who know how to fly up 
into the bushes and preen our plumage can whistle at the fowler 
and, if he be very stupid, can even peck his eyes. Then the 
other brutes cry out at our cruelty. But you, you, you are a 
dove, you are chicken-hearted, you are a parrot that has lived 
with a parson, a stork are you, kept to get children, a goose that 


lays golden eggs I " The Saroness flung her fat hands about, 
flushed, angry, resolved to be kind, and to hit back. 

** It appears that I am an ornithological exhibition," replied 
Dorothea, feeling less sweet. 

" And as for sins — ^to revert to our starting point — ^what on 
earth do you mean? I am nearly forty. I have never in my 
life heard any one, except priests, sx)eak of sins? Sins I One 
would think we all lived in a reformatory. To me, when I hear 
you talk, it is as if I heard my father say * Remember the chil- 
dren,' when some one of his friends was * inconvenant.' " 

Dorothea rose. Her dress was of the simplest, costliest 
white; it fell about her like a (story) queen's. "I thank you; 
I will do my best," she said with difficulty. 

"Trust me; I mean well. A woman must choose between, 
the world and the clbister. She can choose. A man need not. 
In the monastery as on the race-course, wherever he goes, he is 

The men came in. The Colonel was laughing noisily; Mark 
was laughing too. " Your parson is not half bad," said Sand- 
ring to his daughter, as he led her aside. "He enjoys a good 
story, and, by Jove, he can tell one too." 

" Father, why don't you tell me your good stories as you used 
to do?" 

" Because you frown, Dorothea." 

Dorothea established herself on a window-seat. 

"I only frowned at that one of the dancer's daughter." 

" Well, but I can't tell if you're going to frown." 

She took hold of a waistcoat button. "Now be honest," 
she said, laughing up at him. " Can't you ? " 

" Yes, I can, by Jove," cried the Colonel. " Dolly, it's not 
true, what some people say, that you're priggish, and pretend 
to be superior. No, damme, it's not true. You look priggish, 
perhaps, among pigs. Now, I'll bet that at Brodryck no one 
thought you superlatively good ? " 

" No, indeed ! " cried his daughter. 

"And you aren't, not really. Ask Lester to tell you his 
funny stories ; they'll do. There's an excellent one about a cock 
crowing in the middle of the sermon just when the parson had 
said : * Could I deny my faith ? ' But I won't spoil it. He's a 
first-rate mimic. I had no idea he would prove such company. 
Come, Lester, tell my daughter about the cock; she loves a good 

"Dorothea?" cried the- Baroness. 


" Especially when told by a clergyman," added the Colonel 
mischievously. "I agree with her. I like a parson to be 
wicked, and his story to be good." 

But the Baroness rose. " It is late," she said, " I am very 
sleepy. Bonsoir, Monsieur VA — Monsieur le Pasteur." The 
Colonel held open the door for her. "I shall go back to the 
smoking-room," he said to Lester. "Join me there when you 
haye had enough of reminiscences. I will mix you an Ameri- 
can drink." 

The two young people remained alone. Mark Lester stood 
by the wood fire ; Dorothea still hung against the window. For 
some time neither spoke. 

" You are not, then, a total abstainer," said Dorothea. 

" I never was." 

" Of course not. It seems so natural that you should enjoy 
a bit of fun and an American drink, and that I should be a 
total abstainer." 

" Tell me exactly what you mean," he said. 

" Of course I am not an abstainer," she went on hurriedly. 
"I mean not a pledge-person, or teetotaler, or whatever they 
call it I I never touch wine because I don't like it — aunt Mary 
never took it; and then there was the gardener — ^never mind 
— and because I'm not accustomed to it, a glass of champagne 
goes to my head. And so I say: no, and am odious, odious, 
in this as in everything." She sat gazing dejectedly on the 

" Surely a woman isn't odious because she drinks water ? " 

She looked up at him. " No, but a woman is always odious, 
when she is with women who do differently from her." 

" To the women, perhaps " 

" And the men." 

"Dorothea, I think you must be mistaken." 

Her lips quivered. "I speak of what I know — ^now. A 
couple of years after you had gone to Leyden, you told me that 
you had learnt to know the world and that you loathed it." 

"Dorothea, why do you again revert to that unfortunate 
conversation ? " 

"Unfortunate? It was the last we had together, we who 
have had so many." 

"Yes, but I am afraid it made an erroneous impres- 
sion ^" 

She got up and came close to him. "I, too, have been out 
and seen the world," she said. " It is a year since I left home 


for Nice — on the day after our talk. I have seen the world, and 

I " She paused; they stood looking at each other. "I 

loathe it. I loathe it." 

"In another year's time," he said gently, "you will learn 
to loathe it less. Let me speak. It is a mistake to bring 
people up as we were brought up, in the inner court, so to say, 
of the temple, a beautiful error. Nobody could help it, I sup- 
pose. We lived in a walled comer; our guardians could not 
be expected to hoist us up the wall, because there were dung- 
hills to be seen outside. Now we are face to face with facts, 
and must make the best of them. The world is neither as good 
as we thought nor as bad as we think ^" 

" What is the * world ' ? " she burst in impetuously. 

He answered slowly. " In the Bible sense," he said, " it is, 
of course, everything that is not the kingdom of Heaven. But 
you and I mean contact with our fellow-men outside our little 
circle. Well, Dorothea, what astonishes beginners like you 
and me most is the goodness of bad people and the badness of 
good. It upsets all the little rules we were brought up in. 
And so we get mixed, and say every one's bad. Now it's a mis- 
take; don't take all my time finding it out. Eealize at once 
that you know a lot of good people, and that there's plenty to 
appreciate in the bad people you know." 

"I am a prig," said Dorothea sadly. "Mrs. Sandring is 

" Every one who conscientiously sets himself to do right is 
a prig; make sure of that. Conscientiousness is a dictionary 
word ; in life it reads ' priggery.' You can see all through the 
Bible that our holiest examples were thought prigs in their day. 
Never mind that. Oh, Dorothea, there are such heaps of things 
a fellow cannot help ! " He kicked at a burning log. 

" To me," he said, " the great difficulty is not the discovery 
that many men were better than I thought; somehow I had 
been prepared for that. But it is the wickedness of the good; 
the archbishops, the bishops, and theology professors, the 
preachers and prayers — ^Lord in Heaven, when one gets to look 
at them, what liars they are ! " 

Dorothea listened, hushed. 

" God was merciful to me," said Mark Lester, the terrible 
words coming up from the depths of his soul, " and He stopped 
my throat." 

" Oh, Mark, do not speak like that ! " 

"Never mind. Dorothea, somehow you are the one person 


on earth who stirs me up and makes me say things I never 
dreamed of saying. 'No, nor of thinking. You are a dangerous 
woman. You make me a selfish brute. Let us talk about you, 
your happiness. Tell me you are happy." 

She had stooped to pick up a rose from the carpet. It came 
to pieces in her hand, a shower of silvery leaves. " We all have 
our troubles and our joys," she said. 

" My God, you are not happy I " 

" Since when do you swear, Mark ? " 

He looked at her strangely. "Do you call that an oath?" 
he said. She did not answer, nor would he call it a prayer. 

"I am quite as happy as I deserve to be. We have had 
this sort of conversation before. It is a silly sort. Shall we 
go upstairs? You must be tired." 

" Your husband does not make you happy ! " 

She fired round at him, but his face was set the other way. 
" Do not touch Egon," she said. " He is '' 

" Oh, pray, praise him ! " 

" Do not trouble me, Mark. He is not perhaps as good as 
you are, not exactly, or differently, but I love him with all my 
heart and soul." 

" That surely ought to suffice him. I will just look in on 
your father. I should not like to disappoint him." 

The Baroness came out into the upper corridor, as Dorothea 
was passing to her bedroom door. 

"How long you have been, my dear," began the Baroness, 
in a gauzy white wrapper, voluminous as a cloud. " I suppose 
you like talking to that young man?" 

" Very much, indeed," said Dorothea. 

" Quite so, but I was sleepy and wanted to get to bed. But 
I waited up, for there is a bit of information I felt I ought to 
give you, before it reached you through Aurelie." 

" I am waiting to hear it," said Dorothea. 

" Wait no longer. I have a note from Giulietta, to say she 
is leaving to-morrow for Montreux ! " 

Dorothea reeled up against the wall: she steadied herself, 
clinging to a chair-back. 

"M — Montreux," she stammered. 

" She goes to — ^Barbolat. My dear Dorothea, whatever is 
the matter?" 

"Nothing is the matter, Mrs. Sandring. Good-night." 


" Tell your mistress that I wish to see her immediately! " 
The Countess Pini struck her hand against the side of the open 
carriage in which she sat. 

" My mistress is asleep," replied Mademoiselle Aurelie Bom- 
pard, in curl-papers, by the door. 

" Awaken her. Say it is very important." 

" That, madame," objected the handmaid demurely, " is as 
much as my place is worth." 

" Eubbish ! You need not deny to me, Aurelie, that, in your 
case, the mildest of mistresses is ruled by the most impertinent 
of maids." 

" Madame la Comtesse forgets her own Lucie and herself," 
said the maid, her eyes softly downcast. 

"I? I beat Lucie, and you know it," cried the Countess. 
" I am of the old school, I. Had you been in my service ^" 

"I should have given notice," said Aurelie, flashing her 
eyes up and down again. " Madame la Comtesse has a mes- 
sage ? How chilly it is !" She was not afraid of Giulietta, any 
more than of Dorothea; she was not afraid of any one. She 
believed in herself and in her past. 

.. And she specially hated the Pini woman, for love of the mis- 
tress she did not fear. 

"My message is that you go to her immediately and say 
that I must see her at once." 

" I cannot do it ; the poor thing has had a very bad night " 
— (the maid had stolen down to the door several times in the 
dark) — ^^ but now she is asleep. I cannot wake her." 

" Dear me, is she ill ? " demanded Giulietta with sudden 
interest. "What is the matter with her? Chagrins?" 

Aurelie looked up quickly, a straight aim in the other's eyes. 

"Pains," she said. 

" Dear me, and what does she do for them ? " 

"Pills," said Aurelie. And retreated towards the door. 

Whereupon Giulietta, lightly snatching a book from the car- 
riage-seat, flung it up with neat aim, crashing through the win- 
dow of Dorothea's bedroom on the low story above. 


" del, what a woman I" exclaimed Aurelie, sotto voce, and 
added admiringly : " I could have done that myself." 

Dorothea's amazed face appeared at the broken window. 

"I am coming up to see you," cried Giulietta. ^^ Parhleu, 
one has to knock loud at your door ! " 

A moment later she was in Dorothea's bedroom. " Did you 
think, my dear, that it was a Nihilist attempt? Well, I am a 
Nihilist; I believe in nothing, not even myself. You must 
give me back my ' Annimzio.' Have you ever read * Annunzio' ? 
Ah, he would not suit you at all. In fact you would not under- 
stand a word of him. All his sensations would be to you, as 
if I read Greek." 

"Egon says he is futile. But what brings you ^" 

"And yet Greek, all agree, is the most beautiful language 
ever spoken by human lips. 'Annunzio,' to me, is the most 
beautiful language ever spoken by human souls. Does your 
husband call him futile? Ah, le gredin!^^ 

Dorothea stood vaguely arranging her hair before the glass. 
" Should you not get back into bed, or put on your clothes ? " 
said Giulietta. "I will tell you frankly, at once, why I am 
here. Pini has gone to Monte Carlo; this afternoon I start 
for Montreux." 

" So I hear," said Dorothea. 

"Well, I have come to ask you to go with me." 

" I cannot." 

" Rubbish. I am going to Barbolat. I was there in the 
autumn, and he told me to come back. Our lease of the Villa 
'Arriet has come to an end; it was an absurdly expensive place;* 
I believe Pini's money is spent. Well, I am going to Barbolat ; 
he is enormously expensive also, but what will you have ? Mont- 
reux is cheap." 

" I expect Egon back in a day or two. He has been unfor- 
tunate. I had understood that this masseur never left home 
for king or emperor. And now he is away." 

" But to whom has he gone ? To the Pope. It is the single 
exception, for the Pope cannot possibly come to him. He is to 
return to-morrow; your husband will see him." 

"After having waited nearly a week." 

" Well, come with me ; you will be in, as they say, for the 

"I cannot come," Dorothea's voice betrayed some irrita- 
tion. " I have my guests." 

" They can look after each other." 


" No, for my father leaves, to join your husband, to-morrow. 
I cannot leave Mr. Lester alone with Mrs. Sandring." 

Giulietta pursed up her pretty lips to a whistle. "Whew I 
Persuade him to stay." 

" You know that would be impossible." 

Giulietta marched up to the bed, in which Dorothea was 
seated. " Come with me ! " she cried. " Come with me ! Come 
with me to Montreux." 

" But why ? What do you mean ? Egon would be annoyed. 
I am expecting him back in a day or two." 

"Never mind. Come along." 

" Really, my dear Countess, you must excuse me. I cannot 
insult my husband by running after him." 

Giulietta fell back a pace or two. 

" The journey is nothing," she said. 

Dorothea had pulled at the bell in her bed. 

" The neighborhood is charming," said Giulietta at the door. 

" This way, Madame la Comtesse," spoke the soft-voiced 
Aurelie on the landing. 

" Adieu, then, perhaps for good," said Giulietta. Her voice 
sounded sad. 

" I wonder, would Madame permit me to say something ? " 
demanded Mademoiselle Aurelie, on returning to her mistress. 

" Why, Aurelie, you know I allow you to say whatever you 

" Because I never say anything that needs such permission. 
But now I would ask — Madame Pini has driven away in a fury 
—this journey to Montreux, is Madame quite * resolved it were 
undesirable? Montreux is a very pretty place." 

" Aurelie, you have one fault : it is listening at doors." 

"Madame, is it a fault? The faults of servants, when 
exercised in their mistress's behalf, are virtues. When I listen 
at doors, I think only of Madame." 

" Think of me, then, and go away." 

"Even at night-time," said the injured Aurelie. 

With a little inward shudder, Dorothea realized that even a 
sorrowful night was not her own. 

" But Madame does not do me justice," continued the maid 
in the same injured tone. " Often have I served mistresses 
badly, and been covered with benefits." 

"What, you have served any one badly?" 

" Madame, there is a French proverb, that one cannot serve 


two masters. Still less can a maid serve both master and mis- 
tress. I have always done my duty by one of the two." 

" Your French proverb is a word of the Lord Jesus, Aurelie ; 
you never read the Bible I gave you, in which aunt Mary wrote 
those texts." 

" The Bible, madame," said Aurelie, who was preparing her 
mistress's bath, " is a book for the leizured. We poor people, 
when we snatch a bit of reading, we want something gay." 

"But the Bible had a word for all requirements." 

Aurelie squeezed out a big sponge. " I have not yet come," 
she said, "to the funny part." 

Dorothea sighed. 

"As for the religion of Madame, also I have not yet come 
to the funny part. It is triste, triste. With us, first we feel 
wicked, then comes the religion. With Madame it is the other 
way round." 

" You must not say that. You will have to order some fresh 

" All my mistresses have had religion ; never have I had the 
misfortune to live with an atheist like the Pini. But religion, 
with them it was a comfort, a permission to be naughty again." 

" If you think that what little religion I have is not the sole 
comfort ^" 

"Let Madame permit me to interrupt her. The bath is 
getting cold." 

"Very well. You can go." 

Aurelie paused by the door. " Often I think I had better 
go," she said. " My talents have no scope here. My talents 
are for intrigue. I desired rest from it when I accepted the 
Colonel's offer. One has too much of a thing, and then one 
wants it again. Such is man. Here there will never be 
intrigue. In the 'Arriet kitchen, there I was in my element. 
It all came back to me, the old life. There was the smell of 
Paris. Here is dulness, goodness. The German lout of a valet, 
at least he is gone with his master. But with Madame there 
will never be intrigue." 

"No, indeed," said Dorothea. "I really do not think you 
ought to stay with me." 

" I shall do so all the same." 

"But why?" 

" Because I love Madame." Mademoiselle Aurelie Bompard 
bounced out at the door. 

That evening she wrote in one of her endless letters to her- 


self: "Thou are more than foolish,. my Bompard; thou are 
growing simple. Thirteen places hast thou had in the best 
chateaux of thy country; often hast thou experienced some 
fleeting affection for a mistress; never hast thou uttered so 
fatal a thought : * Because I love Madame.' Were she not an 
angel, thou couldst not stay an hour in the house after such a 
frantic confession. She would make thy life a curse and a 
burden. We rule our mistresses only and solely by. their dread 
of discomfort through our going away." 


The Grand Hotel du Lac Leman lay in the frosty winter 
sun. Its padded double windows spoke of sickness and bad 
air. About it slept that mist of gentle boredom which seems 
to shroud the smaller northern health resorts. There was a 
certain amount of shrubbery around it, marking the absence of 
flowers. Here and there a dull-robed figure crept along the 
sloppy road. The weather was cold and unpleasant, chilly with 
imcertain wind, of the sort that would be called "invigorat- 
ing" by the doctors and people who run a place. The brand- 
new gold-lace of the hotel concierge was the only bright spot 
in the landscape. 

The inside of the hotel was still more lugubrious, sombre, 
silent, the long yawn of patients who are waiting and of ser- 
vants who have little to do. Immediately on entering the 
place, a big waiting-room received you. " Docteur Barbolat ? " 
The smart concierge sank his eyes condescendingly, and, often 
without a word, went to open the waiting-room door. Docteur 
Barbolat, of course. For what other reason did any one come 
to the Hotel du Leman? 

As the door swung open, a fetid odor flowed out to meet 
you, the smell of the perfumed grease the rubber employed, 
mixed with the various scents of his fashionable clientele, . The 
large ante-room was full of waiting patients ; in the middle, on 
a table, lay a book in which newcomers wrote down their names. 
There was no order of any kind, no arrangement whatever. At 
the farther end a door stood open, with a seemingly endless 
vista of little rooms beyond. 

Egon von Koden stood looking out at a window. The great 
man had come back last night from his visit to the Vatican. 
To-day, after nearly a week of suspense, the oracle would speak. 

People whispered in comers, with the usual hush of discom- 
fort that pervades a doctor's waiting-room. Surely, if there be 
on earth an atmosphere that can suggest the entrance-halls of 
Rhadamanthus, it is here. And he that judges the soul will 
at least be wise and righteous, while they that judge the body 
live by flukes. 



It was a distinct relief when a big lady, in yellow and crim- 
son, an hahituee who knew every one, entered and passed, with 
loud interest, from group to group. The highest titles flew in 
the air like gaudy moths. A Babel of languages was around 
you, but the loud yellow lady spoke Teuton-French. "Pon^ 
shour, Brincesse, comment fa fotre bauve sjami)e?" The 
" sjampe " was better, but the fat, old, orange-hued princess had 
pain in her wrist. Egon listened with inevitable attention to 
numerous stories of ailments. Suddenly a shrill bellow broke 
loose from far away at the back of the long line of rooms ; every- 
body pricked up their ears. The great man had entered. He 
was fifty yards off, yet every word was audible ; he was shriek- 
ing in broken German. 

" Gk)od morning, your Majesty I I am vexed to have inter- 
rupted your treatment! But his Holiness — ^your Majesty will 
understand! — a life so important, even to Protestants! I hope 

that your Majesty ^" Then his voice sank. " Ah, that was 

for the gallery,'' thought Egon. 

From the entrance to the consulting rooms, a little man 
emerged, and was immediately besieged by a number of patients, 
especially newcomers. Everybody wanted to be helped out of 
his turn, not that anybody had a turn, but for that very reason. 
The little old man, wee and crooked, with a face like Punch, 
trotted desperately to and fro, endeavoring to please everybody, 
satisfying none. The yellow lady was very loud to him about 
having to lunch with her Majesty. He promised to secure her 
being rubbed in time. 

" The doctor will see you this morning," he said, amiably, 
to Egon. "I am glad. I feel sure he will be able to do you 
good." He stayed with him a moment and pointed out one or 
two people: Eussian princes, a very great singer, an Italian 
duke. " Every one has to pass through this room and take their 
turn," he said. "Royalties only go in at the other end." The 
voice of the rubber was heard shouting conversation in the dis- 
tance; then the little old assistant was yelled for, and hastily 

The yellow and crimson lady, middle-aged, attracted by 
Egon's face and figure, came up to him straightway. " Barbo- 
lat will cure you," she said. "He does wonders. Six weeks 
ago, a man came here, Fiirst Chloswitz ; he had not walked for 
eleven years, and to-day he dances! Tiens, voila le docteurl" 

In the entry to the line of rooms, a man had appeared, 
dressed in a smock, like a sculptor's, a Titan of a man, enor- 


mous, with a great big head and yellow beard. His eyes flashed 
round the waiting crowd. 

" La Duchesse de Vareuse I " he said, in his native tongue. 

A lady in deep mourning rose from a comer, where she had 
been sitting, silent, with a boy of some fourteen years beside 
her, and a man standing near, who was evidently a servant. 
She swept across the wide room, a woman of queenly bearing, 
the boy staggering after her on the servant's arm, a pitiful sight 
to see. 

A faint evidence of sympathy — ^not a murmur — ^followed 
them. "It is the young Due de Vareuse," whispered Punch, 
" The doctor will cure him." 

The latter's voice could be heard in a room not far off. 

"I will see. I must see," he was crying nervously. "Un- 
dress! Let me help you! Help him. So; quick! So. That 
is right. Turn ! Do not move till I tell you ! Do I hurt you ? 

A faint gasp shivered forth from the unknown distance. The 
servant, one of those correct, black-whiskered servants, still 
only seen in France, was observed to gently push the door. 
Punch had his instructions and thrust it open. 

"Hist! Do not scream! Are you a man? I had a girl 
here yesterday, the Princess Clodia Eomagna — ^turn — so — ^I see 
— ^I see." A long moment's silence, and then : " There is noth- 
ing to be done" — shouted in agitation. "Your Paris doctors 
have bungled the business! Plaster where there should have 

been gymnastics! Pooh! The legs " Again the servant 

pushed the door ; Barbolat himself tore it open. " The sinews 
are hopelessly contracted! Whatever you do will be useless. 
I refuse to treat you. Herr von Roden ! " 

The young boy came forth, his features working to control 
his feelings: beside him walked his mother, her veil up, her 
hand on his shoulder. 

Egon von Koden paused and, rapidly : " Try some one else," 
he said, "while there is life, there is hope." It was a stupid 
saying, he felt : the mother looked straight at him : " Thank 

He followed the rubber along a line of little cabinets, cur- 
tained off from a common corridor, cabinets in which men or 
women were waiting for a turn or preparing to depart, in dif- 
ferent stages of deshahilU. At the farther end, in a square 
room, they halted. 

" Sit down in that chair," said Monsieur Barbolat, " it has 


just been vacated by the Queen of Etruria." 

Von Roden sat down: his thoughts, at that moment, were 
not of the Queen of Etruria, most beautiful of modem queens. 

" You are a relation, I presume, of Count Roden-Rheyna ? " 

" I am his nephew." 

" I do not know him, but I know your cousin, the Prince of 

Egon had pulled off his boot; the other was examining the 
swollen ankle. 

" I know everybody," said Barbolat, still in broken German, 
" everybody that is anybody ; or I know about them. Sooner or 
later all come to me. Everybody in Europe, who is anybody " 
— ^meanwhile he was squeezing the foot — ^''drinks too much 
champagne and eats numerous ices ; sooner or later they come 
to me." 

" Do the ices get into their limbs ? " gasped Egon. 

"No, but into their insides. Sooner or later they have to 
come to me, and I rub their royal insides. You must show me 
the whole leg. I cannot judge. I must see. It is not so bad 
— ^be assured — as the Due de Vareuse. Poor fellow, poor fel- 
low." He stood watching Egon's movements, and repeated 
thoughtfully: "I rub their royal insides." 

" Ah I " he said ; then he grew silent, feeling cannily up the 
muscles. "Have you a pain here?" he asked thoughtfully, 
touching a point near the knee. 

Von Roden assented. 

"And here?" said Barbolat, with a sudden snatch at the 
heel. "Here! see, is this sore? See, when I press thus, does 
the heel-tip telegraph to the knee?" 

"Yes," said Egon. 

A light came into the great man's great eyes. He rose up. 
" Dress ! " he said, and turned to the window and stood looking 
out. Presently he faced round. 

"I can cure you," he said. "These professors are fools. 
The mischief is in the knee. It will take three weeks." 

He was gone, and Egon could hear him shouting a few doors 
off : " Good-morning, most great and noble lady I How goes 
it with the great and noble body into which you put too much ? " 

Egon staggered out into the waiting-room, in a tumult of 
hope and doubt. 

" Well, Monseiur de Roden, what does the great man say ? " 

Giulietta stood before him, dusty from a long night-journey, 
in fawn-colored travelling-dress. 


" He says he can cure me." Egon wondered whether he was 
speaking of himself : he did not wait to express his amazement 
at Giulietta's appearance here. 

" He will do it," she said. " He never takes doubtful cases. 
Let us sit down in that comer. Oh, I am so glad! " 

They sat side by side for a few moments in silence. Then 
Giulietta said: "I shall never forget that I was the first to 
hear these glad tidings." 

"And I," he answered, "shall never forget that it is to you 
I owe them." 

Barbolat again stood in the doorway. 

"Ah, Madame Pini," he cried, "you need not have come 
again I " 

"But, Docteur '' 

" It is your own fault : why do you eat so many sweet-meats ? 
You know what I say" — ^this before the full room — ^"you are 
greedy : go home and eat greens I " 

" I am not a cow ! " said the Countess, bridling. 

"Would you were! You would have three stomachs. Do 
you know what we most resemble, great and august lady, you, 
who are a countess, I, who am a peasant's son, all these gran- 
deurs?" — a sweep of the hand. "A pig is what we most re- 
semble, in the taste of our flesh, as all missionaries attest, hav- 
ing eaten it, and an ape in our internal structure, of course. 
Did you all live on nuts and green things, like your ancestors, 
I should only earn money from broken joints, and not even that, 
for you would be able to swing yourselves through creation with- 
out twisting an ankle or spraining a thumb." He turned and 
walked out. A murmur of appreciation followed him. 

" How droll he is I " said the parchmenty old princess, whose 
every feature bore out his statement that her ancestors had 
eaten nuts. 

Egon went upstairs and found his man-servant. 

" The doctor says he will cure me, Hans." 

Hans Stunner laid down the coat he was brushing. " If he 
does that," said Hans, " and God Almighty, on the Judgment 
Day, says he must go to hell, for killing other people, Fll offer 
to go in his stead, so help me God ! " said Hans. 


"Good-morning, most high and noble lord!" cried Barbolat 
a few days later, bursting into the little berth like a bomb. He 
left the door to the next compartment wide open. Egon sidled 
behind him and closed it. 

"Hey?" shouted the doctor, whisking round. 

" The lady who is dressing ^^ 

"Boy, do you care?" 

"No, but I thought she might," replied Egon. 

The genius laughed, and dug his thumb into the swollen 
foot. "I leave all these doors open," he said, "so as to pre- 
vent the possibility of slander " 

"Yes, and you give us these ridiculous titles, because you 
don't know the proper ones," gasped Egon. 

" Do not be too clever I Was I brought up to your Alman- 
ach de Gotha? It is human suffering I studied, not human 
hetise. 1 am the son of a butcher: I learnt the structure of 
your noble frame upon my father's pigs." 

"Is it really true that of all God's creatures the pig most 
resembles man?" 

" Consult your recollections," replied the doctor shortly. 
" Yes, it is true." 

"Well," he added, "was I not right in saying that all of 
you come to me sooner or later. I said it of Count Roden- 
Rheyna, and lo, he is here ! " 

" My uncle ? " exclaimed Egon. 

" Well, I expect him this afternoon. He comes with a very 
old friend of mine, the Count von Kauenfels." 

" Yes, yes, old Franz Kauenfels. My uncle ? Whatever can 
he be coming for?" 

"I shall know when I see him," replied the rubber coolly. 
" There, you are finished for to-day. Adieu ! " 

He was gone. Egon inquired of the Concierge about the 
most likely express from Germany, and went down to the station 
on the chance of welcoming " The Head." 

The first person he saw on the platform was Konrad. 

" What !" said Konrad, " ordered here too ? In favor again ?" 


"No, I came unordered. Barbolat told me." 

" Better go away," scowled Konrad. " My uncle don't want 

"As to that, I shall please myself," retorted Egon. "I 
should not think that uncle Karl, at this moment, is particu- 
larly satisfied with you." 

"Leave me alone! Why, you cut me in the streets, you 

" I avoid you. But I have never met you and Lady Archi* 
bald without taking off my hat." 

" How kind of you ! I hope you do not find Montreux too 

" It is certainly not amusing. However, I expect to get back 
to Bel Respiro next week." 

" What ? cured in half-a-dozen sittings ? " 

"No, but I shall tell Barbolat I must come here later on 
with Dorothea." 

" Are you better ? " questioned Konrad : and such is the 
human heart, he would have felt disappointed whatever the 

"Not yet, but Barbolat is satisfied. Yonder is the train 
coming in." 

Count Roden-Rheyna got out of a compartment with some 
difficulty: he was immediately followed by a very similar old 
gentleman. Their appearance was dignified, but their progress 
was comic, for they each had the gout in a different foot, and 
so fell apart and joined up again, like a pair of scissors. 

" H'm ! " said Count Roden, surveying his two nephews. 
" Which of you two is the greater fool ? " 

" We have not come here, sir, to be abused, but to take your 
orders," answered Egon, flushing. 

" Quite right. The one excludes the other," said the lord 
of Rheyna coolly. " Is there a cab ? " And the two old gentle- 
men limped away, with Egon limping after. 

" The lame and the halt," whispered Konrad. Egon turned. 

"And the blind," said Egon. 

"I cannot have you both," declared the Count, as soon as 
he was established on his sofa. " Konrad, you can go. I should 
like to know, Egon, what brings you here ? " % 

" My foot," replied Egon. 

The old Count's irascible face turned red. " Is that a sort 
of joke, an impertinence ? " 


" No, indeed, uncle Karl; I am here for the same reason as 
you — Barbolat." 

" Well — after your behavior at Lugano I could expect any- 
thing, even your daring to insult me by making puns in my 
presence. I shall never forgive your disobeying me, Egon, but 
neither need we refer to it again. You will be useful to me 
while I am here." 

" I shall be very pleased, sir." 

"Don't talk like Konrad. Keep your own individuality, 
which is your father's, and let Konrad keep his, which is mine. 
You should have told me you were going to consult Barbolat: 
you are aware that, as the Head of the Family, I have a right 
to know — it is my duty — ^where you are." 

" You had forbidden me to write to you, sir." 

" Certainly. Chatter-letters, not business ones. Well, here 
you are, and here is Konrad. I came to see Konrad. There 
must be an end of this." 

"And Barbolat?" 

"Rubbish. Barbolat is the excuse, the explanation. There 
is nothing serious the matter with my foot. I accompany 
Kauenfels at his sister's earnest request. Bathildis went down 
on her knees to entreat me to go with her brother." 

" I hope the old ladies are well ? " 

"What a humbug you are, Egon I Keep that inquiry for 
Franz. ' Look after him,' says Bathildis. * He is dreadful, 
dreadful. He will do something dreadful some day.'" 

" What sort of something? " 

" What sort of something would they dread ? He is sixty- 
eight: that is a terrible age for bachelors." Count Roden 
stretched himself on the sofa and smiled complacently. 

" At that age they very possibly marry," he said. " A couple 
of years later the sisters will be safe." 

"But Count Franz has never wanted to marry." 

" That is why. Well, at present, this business of Konrad's 
comes first. I suppose you have no influence with him?" 

" I am sorry to say not." 

" You need not be sorry. No brother ever had any influence 
with a brother that was worth his salt." 

" But \^o, if not a brother ^" 

Count Roden drew himself up. " / can influence," he said. 
" Your father was a philosopher : he talked to me once of his 
categorical imperative. I soon stopped that. Your categorical 
imperative, I said, am I ! " 


He fell to studying his finger nails, of which he was very 

" Perchance, in some far year of grace. 
Philosophy will rule the race. 
Till then, the work is done, you'll find, 
By himger and by love combined. 

Do you know who said that?" 

" No," replied Egon. 

" Dear me, I should have thought it would have formed part 
of your education. But Goethe was your father's favorite. I 
preferred Schiller: he was full of all the fine fire and fizzle 
that never comes true in real life, but that one likes, on that 
account, to find in poetry. Marquis Posa and Philip II., for 
instance, how one enjoys that! Just because you know that, 
in real life, as soon as there is more than mere talk about liberty, 
sensible men immediately shout for the police." 

He looked up at his nephew. "You want to get away?" 
he said. " You don't care for this sort of talk ? " — he winced 
as he moved his foot. " An old man must find what amusement 
he may. What do you amuse yourself with? Where's your 

"At Bel Eespiro." 

"Dear me I I like that; I should hardly have thought it 
of you. Alone ? " 

"Her father is with her. And Mrs. Sandring." 

" Ah, the Baroness Blanche ! Bianca di Casa Prof onda. 
Your mother-in-law," he laughed cruelly. "Egon, I derive 
daily amusement from the fact that Bianca di Casa Profonda 
is become your mother-in-law." 

" I am glad to contribute in any way to your diversion, sir." 

"Don't be insolent. What I like about you, Egon, is that 
you are the only sane man who has ever cheeked me. I don't 
count the Child, who acted, besides, under your moral compul- 
sion. Begad, this Mrs. Sandring I And Lady Archibald Foye ! 
It is the new generation. Fortunately we have nothing of that 
kind in Germany as yet." 

" Yet Lady Archibald is a German." 

"But she didn't find a German to marry her: he, he! 
Kauenfels was telling me the most astonishing stories, in the 
train, of the Biermadal's Biermadel days. Lord, her conquests ! 
And now this idiot of a Konrad. I can't see her attractions, 
myself ; can you ? " 

" No." 


" That is to say, I can see her attractions, but they are not 
of the sort that would attract me. She has physical charms. 
Not merely good looks, but — ^welll Would you mind ringing 
the bell? And pulling down that blind?" 

Egon did as he was bid. "You received my letter, uncle 

" Of course I did, as I wrote and told you that you need not 
send me any more. Well, I have a bit of news for you: the 
marriage restriction is cut off, * as being distinctly opposed to 
divine law,' say the Powers that be. Konrad can marry to- 
morrow, if he likes." 

" I hope he will marry wisely," said Egon, and bit his lip. 

" I shall see to that. In fact I have made my arrangements. 
It is the reason why I am here. Shall I tell you : why not ? 
He is to marry Hilda von Kauenfels." 

" The niece ? She is only eighteen." 

" Well, did you want him to marry one of the sisters ? Hilda 
is her uncle's heiress: he once told me so." 

" She is not beautiful, nor is she as amiable as her aunts." 

The old Count struck one fist upon the other. "Why do 
you always insist upon provoking me? King the bell again I 
She is one of the biggest heiresses in Germany." 

" And Konrad agrees ? " 

" I should think so : are you going to suggest that he should 
disagree? I forbid you — do you understand? — ^I forbid you to 
prejudice Konrad against her." 

" Of course, sir, I have not the slightest intention of doing 
so. Konrad can look after himself." 

" I look after him. It is you who have chosen to look after 
yourself. And your father before you. But I am the Head of 
the Family, as Konrad understands, and he shall marry Hilda 
von Kauenfels." 

" One of the biggest heiresses in Germany." 

" And I hope that he will succeed to the earldom of Rheyna. 
He says he is almost invariably lucky at play. But my health 
is very good: it is admirable: it never was better, Egon." 

"I am very glad to hear it, sir." 

"Do you know, I believe you are, you young ass. But it 
is only because you grudge Konrad his better chance of suc- 
ceeding me. If you had thought there was the faintest possi- 
bility of my dying within the Jrear, you would never have writ- 
ten that letter from Orta ! " 

"Indeed, uncle Karl ^" 


" Nonsense. I was delighted with that letter: it showed me 
that at least one of my relations believed me to be still far 
from my end." 

" It is no use my repeating " 

" None at all, I beg of you, go and find a waiter and make 
him bring me something to drink." 

Egon did as he was ordered : on the staircase he met Count 

" My dear boy," said that old gentleman, " I am monstrous 
glad to see you." But Count Kauenfels was known to make 
this remark to everybody: he would have used it on meeting 
his worst foe, had he possessed one. 

" I hope your health is good, Herr Graf ? " said Egon. 

" Wonderful I " That was the old man's other favorite : it 
fell from his lips with a bang. 

"Come with me into my room," he added. "Come with 
me. I have something of the extremest importance to commu- 
nicate." He looked big with the fate of empires, but then, that 
was his habitual appearance : in his youth he had been secretary 
of legation, for a couple of years, in Paraguay. "We diplo- 
matists," he always declared, "we say what we mean but we 
do not mean what we say." The cryptic sense of this dictum 
he fortunately never was called upon to explain. His entire 
attitude of soul was importance, singularly single duplicity, 
transparent intrigue. And all his ambition was that i>eople 
should know him to be Count Kauenfels and believe him still 
moderately young. He sat down in a big easy chair and puffed 
slightly. He was a fat man, and pasty by nature, but his valet 
did up his neck with some scarlet concoction that gave it a 
healthy brickdust look. He wore a large seal-ring on a very 
large little finger, and there was a general impression about him, 
somehow, of coronets. When he blew his nose, with a white 
silk towel, old maids who had never heard him before started 
and said " Ha ! " When he swore at his servants they smiled, 
behind his fierce goggle-eyes. He had been known once to give 
a little street-girl a penny: she was pretty. His sisters he in- 
variably spoke of as " The Countesses, my sisters," to his equals ; 
" The Countesses Kauenfels," to his inferiors : he was usually 
rude to them. But he allowed them to live in his castles and 
to manage his household. Except for the shooting he never 
went home, and then he lorded it over the whole neighborhood 
during a couple of weeks. At other times he amused himself 
in the stalest little round of vices. He had never checked an 


evil impulse, and he had had plenty to start with. In fact he 
was a sort of caricature of Count Roden, who always remained 
a gentleman, a philosopher, and a man of sense. Coimt Kauen- 
fels was one of the people you do not remember having met; 
you have met so many like them. 

"My dear boy," said Kauenfels, "as I have already re- 
marked, I am monstrous glad to have met you. We are old 
friends, your family and I. You know who I am! Kauen- 
fels I " — ^the accent of this word is irreproducible — ^^ and as 
Kauenfels I venture to ask you : is it really true, as your uncle 
tells me, that you have consented to drop the marriage-clause 
in the Roden * Hausgesetz ' ? " 

A cloud passed over Egon's face, but the old man would have 
noticed nothing under a thunderbolt. 

" Certainly, it is true." 

"Then, my dear boy, you have probably thrown away the 
earldom of Rheyna. Tell me, how do you fcad your uncle look- 

"Much as usual." 

" Ah, that's what relations always say. The Countesses, my 
sisters, always say I look as usual." 

" Well, so you do." 

"Wonderful! But you are mistaken. I look much better 
than I did a couple of years ago. I grow younger" — ^he fur- 
tively stole a glance at his tongue in the glass — ^" Barbolat does 
wonders for me. But your poor uncle I " He turned up the 
whites of his injected eyes and sighed. 

" There was a matter of importance ^" began Egon. 

"I am coming to it. You young folks are always in such 
a hurry. An old diplomatist like myself takes time to say 
his say. But, in fact, we have come to it already. Schlumpgen 
of Berlin told me, before we left, that your imcle could not 
live a year." 

"My God! "cried Egon. 

" Aha, you are sorry now." The old man took out the white 
silk towel. "What did I say? You young folks are always 
in such a hurry. Wonderful! You should have waited a 
month before you wrote that letter ! " 

"But doctors are constantly mistaken! What does he say 
is wrong with uncle Karl ? " 

"Heart-disease," said the old Count, with infinite relish. 

" But people with that live to be a hundred." 

" Not with gouty degeneration of the heart's action, not with 


arterio-sclerosis of the stomach and kidneys, nor with valvular 
misconstruction of the extra-peptic conduits." 
" Good heavens, has poor uncle got all that ? " 
" So Schlumpgen says, and Schlumpgen is never wrong with 
persons of our quality. I made him write it down for me so 
that I could tell the family. Personally, he told your uncle 
that change of air 'd be the end of all his ailments. Lord, Lord, 
how shrewd these doctors are. Change of air. Within a 
twelvemonth. Change of air." 

"I don't believe a word of it," exclaimed Egon, 
desperately. " What says Barbolat ? " 

"Why, he hasn't seen him yet; but I know what Barbolat 
will say. He will say that your uncle drinks far too much 
champagne. Barbolat is a genius. Wonderful 1 " 

" Barbolat will cure him," said Egon. " He is curing me." 

" Do you think so ? Well, he certainly does me a lot of good. 

How do you think I am looking? Well, that was what I had 

to tell you, Egon. I am monstrous glad I met you on the 




Next day the two old gentlemen had lunch together. They 
were in high spirits, for Barbolat had promised to cure them 

. On the strength of this promise Count Kauenfels took a 
glass of green Chartreuse, 

"I wish you would let me manage the business," he said. 
^ " H'm, h'm," responded Count Karl. 

"After all, my interest in Konrad is almost as great as 
yours. He is your nephew and he is going to be mine." 

" Still, at present, all authority and influence rest with me. 
As Head of the Family, I can put down my foot." 

Count Kauenfels was quite incapable of smiling at the 
strangeness of this simile. In fact, he had probably never 
smiled in his life: he could grin at a woman, and roar in the 
company of men : of humor he had not the dimmest conception. 

" Your strength is your weakness," he said, looking very 
knowing — putting on his full Paraguay secretary air. "The 
sense of power makes a man incapable of negotiations. In Kon- 
rad's case, you can command, and so of course you immediately 
get angry. 'Now what can I do ? Only wheedle and be polite." 

" H'm," answered Count Karl. 

" Compare your own position as regards Hilda. You can 
only bow and say ' Gnadiges Fraulein.' But I ? — ^I can say : 

^ Marry Konrad to-morrow or else 1 ' " He set down his 

glass with a flourish that spilt what was left of the Chartreuse. 

" Surely the latter is the more efficacious." 

" With women, undoubtedly. But you put a man's back up. 
It is better not to bully a man in affairs of the heart. I can 
order Hilda to marry whomever I choose, but you cannot force 
Konrad to abandon Lady Archibald." 

Count Roden stared, growing red in the face. "I — cannot 
— compel Konrad ? " 

"Well, well, you can, you can. But compulsion is always 
the last means we resort to. Let us first try a little diplomacy. ' 
Let an old diplomatist try a little diplomacy. The result is 


often wonderful." He threw himself back in his chair and 
thrust out his shirt-front. " Wonderful," he said. 

"What will you do?" 

"I don't know. I must trust to circumstances, and to in- 
spiration. One always does. You remember Bismarck at Frank- 
fort. And I myself, when my chief was suddenly taken ill at 
Asuncion, you remember ^" 

" I remember," interrupted Roden with much vigor. 

"Esparteros was a wonderful president," continued the 
other old gentleman placidly, " the best president they ever had : 
they kept him six months and then only shot him because they 
wanted new postage stamps. 'We greatly regret it,' said the 
Minister of Finance, *we value his Excellency highly, but the 
state of the exchequer demands a fresh issue of postage stamps.' 
Their chief source of revenue, you know, is postage stamps — 
for collections — ^but the constitution forbids a new issue as long 
as they've got the same president's head." 

"I know — ^I know," said Count Roden impatiently. 

" So next day Esparteros was shot," said Kauenf els with 
thoughtful regret. "He was one of the cleverest men I ever 
.met, but I outwitted him. In that apple jelly business." 

Count Roden struck a match. " Well, go and talk to Kon- 
. rad," he said, " and bring him back to me. I admit that I 
rather mismanaged the thing. Konrad is usually so obedient, 
that, really, when he told me to-day that he felt attached to 
Lady Archibald, I — ^I fear I was rather violent." 

Count Kauenfels broke into his roar. 

" Pray, what are you laughing at ? " demanded Roden, vexed. 

"I was thinking of a keeper of mine who came to me one 
day and told me his wife had smoked his porridge. * But I 
showed her I was very much annoyed,' he said. He had kicked 
her to death." 

Count Roden bridled and rose from table. He disapproved 
of Kauenfels and despised him, but that was Count Roden's 
attitude towards most men. ^Nevertheless, he was too sensible 
to show his dislikes to associates and equals, who form, as he 
felt, an integral though independent part of one's existence. 
He was never unpleasant to any one but his servants and his 

Old Count Kauenfels proceeded to Territet, walking 
solemnly immersed in his own importance. If a pretty face 
passed, he saw it. 

He was told at the Grand Hotel that Herr von Roden was 


asleep. " A bad habit," said Kauenf els, who was a babbler, and 
talked to every one. "To sleep after meals keeps a woman 
young, but it ages a man," continued Kauenfels, as he pushed 
past the red-haired head-waiter and entered the winter-garden. 

The head-waiter smiled enigmatically and muttered some- 
thing about " difficult to combine." 

" You remind me of the Queen of Galicia," said Kauenfels, 
standing still in the middle of the floor. " Her doctors ordered 
her south for her asthma, and north for her nerves, so she 
said she would stay where she was." 

The head-waiter placed a chair for his Excellency. " And 
she died?" he suggested with deference. 

" Dear me, no ; she is alive to this day. It was her sister, 
who followed the doctors' advice, that died. You a head-waiter, 
and not to know that I Bring me some coffee. I shall wait 
here for thirty minutes" — ^he took out his watch — ^" bring me 
some coffee and one of the three politically important journals 
in Europe." 

The head-waiter bent his bald scarlet-fringed brow, expect- 
ant of further information. 

" Dear me, you a head-waiter and not to know that I Won- 
derful I Then bring me all three." 

Exactly half an hour later he rang a handbell and sent up 
a message to Konrad. 

" An awakened negotiator may be too cross to listen, but a 
negotiator who has waited longer than half an hour would be 
too cross to speak," reflected the ex-diplomat, as he buttoned 
his coat across. A civil answer came down from Konrad, who 
modelled his courtesy on his uncle's rule. 

The old man puffed upstairs. " You do me too much honor, 
Herr Graf ! " cried Konrad, across the banisters. His appear- 
ance conveyed an impression of hasty deshabille: he was not 
as. scrupulously oiled as usual. But he led the way into his 
room with his well-known air of conscious self-mastery. 

" I am monstrous glad to see you," said Kauenfels, sinking 
down into a great red velvet chair. 

" How good of you, Herr Graf," murmured Konrad, mani- 
festly waiting for more. 

" I often take coffee here after lunch," continued the quon- 
dam secretary. " They have excellent coffee. And it occurred 
to me that you will very soon be bidding us farewell. Eh, Kon- 
rad, when does your leave expire ? " 

" Last night," replied Konrad, smiling. 


Count Kauenfels sat back in his enormous seat and stared 
at Konrad. " Wonderful ! " he gasped at last. 

" Oh, I'm sick of buckram," spoke the young officer non- 
chalantly. " So I've written to tell thfem so. They, won't mind. 
Lord bless you. More young men that they know what to do 
with. They'll let me keep my uniform, which is all the women 
care about. Put me into the reserves." 

" But — ^your uncle ! " 

" He will hear to-night. How kind of you to care I To tell 
the truth — ^you are so old a friend of the family — ^he sometimes 
exaggerates his claim on one's patience." 

" But what, in Heaven's name, do you now intend to do ? " 
cried Kauenfels, still round-eyed and red. 

"How amiable of you to inquire?" repeated Konrad, with 
exasperating sweetness of provocation. "Well — the only thing 
I care about is horses : I shall make money by horses, somehow." 

" The only thing ? " asked the diplomat slily. 

"Well, there is one other thing. On it I can spend the 
money I make by the horses." 

Facing Count Kauenfels stood a big hotel wardrobe; its 
wood cracked so loud, it gave him quite a start. But, really, 
Konrad's smooth outrageousness was rendering him nervous. 
He had no idea that he could be nervous. He felt that some- 
body was hitting him, though he could not have told you where. 

" You can now marry when you like ; you will have to marry 
money," he said, vaguely snatching at something to hit back. 

" Indeed? " said Konrad. 

"Forgive me, my dear boy: our two families are as one. 
You know who I am — ^Kauenfels ! " He threw out his chest. 
" Do you happen to have a cigar ? " 

" INT — ^n — ^no," stammered Konrad, slightly losing his hitherto 
imperturbable countenance. 

Old Kauenfels laughed aloud. " Since when do you object 
to smoking in your room ? " 

" Since ages," replied Konrad, with recovered aplomb. " As 
to my marrying money, I am not' so sure it will be absolutely 
necessary. I have never wanted for money. You see, I am 
always so lucky, at cards, on the turf, or whenever I have sold 
a horse. I am bound to win in a toss-up with Egon. Already 
I look upon myself as the future Count Roden-Rheyna." 

" Your uncle's health is excellent," said the visitor, annoyed. 

"Is it really? Well, then, I need not be in such a hurry 
to marry." 


Count Kauenfels bit his stupid lips. " Of course, there is 
no saying — at his age, and with his gout " 

" Oh, he will live to see my marriage. Remember, Egon 
has always been unlucky. Look at his leg! Of course he has 
made an advantageous settlement, but any man can marry 
money, if he don't care how. Now, I should draw the line at 
— oh, well, in any case, I should draw the line." Konrad 
finished off awkwardly. He was going to say "hunchbacks," 
but remembered his rule. 

The cupboard again cracked. 

"You are looking very well, Herr Graf. But then, you 
are younger than my uncle." 

" Look here, Konrad ; you have always been a sensible fel- 
low. I do not know the lady, but I have no doubt she is charm- 
ing. Still, you cannot deny that this particular episode in your 
existence, in any man's existence, has lasted a very sufficient 

The cupboard banged. 

" I do not understand you, Herr Graf." 

"You do not understand me? Most wonderful 1 Lachez 
une f emme, my dear Konrad. Avant qu'elle ne vous lache ! " 

"Lache," echoed the cupboard. 

" You are quite right. I understand you," murmured Kon- 
rad gently. "Well, then let me do as you desire: I have no 
intention, dear Count Kauenfels, of pretending to the honor 
of marriage with the Comtesse Hilda, your niece." 

" She is on the wrong side of the line," said the cupboard. 
The glass door opened, and Dickie stepped out. 

" How do, Franzl ? " said Dickie, extending a shapely hand. 

" Oh, I say, how unfair I " exclaimed Konrad. 

"I— I— I '' stuttered Kauenfels. 

"Am monstrous glad to see you," continued Dickie, and 
walked across the room and sat down by the fire. 

A moment of embarrassed silence supervened. 

" ' I do not know the lady/ " quoted Dickie. " INTot remem- 
ber Schone Liesl ? — oh, fie ! * But I have no doubt she is charm- 
ing ' — oh, you shocking old man ! " 

" She is charming," said the old Count, stoutly. " I am 
willing to admit she is handsomer than most." 

"Most what? li£ost of your souvenirs? Go away, Franzl, 
and preach to the Head." 

Count Kauenfels rose from his red velvet seat. The 
cushions paled beside his countenance. " My dear Konrad, per- 


haps you will excuse my pointing out that I had asked for a 
private interview? I had wished to give serious attention to 
matters of serious importance. I understand that just now you 
thought fit to be humorous, with this lady — so near. But it 
seems to me there is no harm in her hearing me say that I 
refuse my consent to the marriage which is being arranged be- 
tween you and my niece, unless you return to Darmstadt at 
once." He struck his stout stick on the floor. 

"I am sorry you misunderstood me," answered Konrad, 
showing all his yellow teeth. " The Comtesse Hilda will con- 
fer on some other admirer the honor of her hand." 

" She. is one of the biggest heiresses in Germany, you idiot I" 
cried the old Count, his crimson turning blue. 

" Her back is bent by the load of her money I " squeaked 

"Hush I" 

" Oh, pray, do not hush her I But hearken to me. Are you 
aware, Mister Konrad von Koden, that the Comtesse Hilda 
von Kauenfels possesses sixty-four quarterings? Sixty-four 
quarterings! How many princesses in Europe can say that? 
Her estates are the largest in North- Western Prussia — ^her — 
her name is Kauenfels ! " He fell back a step and gazed at the 
immovable young man with the smooth yellow cheeks. "Fow 
lucky I " he said, with what he felt to be scathing scorn. " You 
lucky I Wonderful I Refuse Hilda von Kauenfels I Pooh ! " 
He stamped his way to the door. He had to pass Dickie, and 
she stopped him with the most enticing move. "Kiss and be 
friends," she said, her big eyes dancing. He grinned, chucked 
her under her dimpling chin, and walked out. 

When Count Roden had heard the whole story, he smiled a 
soft little smile, wonderfully like his nephew Konrad's. "You 
have hardly been so successful as you hoped," he said. 

"I admit it. All diplomacy is based on an assimiption of 
average sense in your antagonist. And Konrad has proved him- 
self a hopeless idiot, an incredible, unspeakable, unimaginable 
fool. What are you grinning at ? " 

" I was thinking of your gamekeeper." 

"My gamekeeper I What gamekeeper? What the devil has 
any gamekeeper of mine got to do with Konrad? But you do 
not imagine we have got beyond the first phase of the struggle ?" 
The old gentleman sat forward, pugnacious, aggressive, with 
protruding eyes. 

"What more can I do?" 


** I— I— Kanenf els ! ^— he tapped his knuckles on the table. 
"" I nerer was congneied in my life. I have had my ofwn way, 
all my life, about ereiything. I shall have my own way to the 

^Bnt not about the end," said Count Boden. 


" Op course I shall get my own way," said Count Kauenf els. 
He cast his important goggle gaze around Barbolat's waiting- 
room, which contained its usual crowd of various nationalities 
and varied complaints. AH- these people looked distinguished; 
you could never have confounded one of them with the class 
which earned its living by honest work. Prominent on a settee 
in the middle, the red and white cockatoo lady was giving a 
deaf English dowager minute information with regard to the 
birth of the present Queen of Denmark's first baby; in a comer 
the Chancellor of one of the greatest European empires, nearly 
blind, nearly deaf, nearly disabled by chalk gout, was laboriously 
laying out "Mettemich" Patience; in another Giulietta sat, 
picking yellow roses to pieces, while Egon read her out scraps 
from a letter, Dorothea's account of daily emptiness at Bel 

"Yes, yes," said Count Kauenf els, "I shall certainly " 

Count Iloden interrupted him. "Have you been repeating 
that to yourself all night?" 

The other winked. He was the only man in the world to 
wink at Count Roden-Rheyna, who would have hated his dear 
friend on that account alone. "You are annoyed, my dear 
Karl, because I refuse to fail where you see no chance of suc- 
ceeding? Leave matters to me." 

Count Roden-Rheyna stood gazing at Egon. "Look at 
that boy," he said thoughtfully, " he is, on the whole, the better 
boy of the two." 

"Is he? They seem to me much of a muchness. Egon is 
the better looking." 

" And yet I should prefer Konrad to succeed me. Do you 
know why ? Because he reproduces my vices." 

"I do not understand you, Karl." 
»*- " Of course you don't. You have no vices, Franzl, only 

" True, and one of these is self-will. I am most remarkably 

" All sensible men are, for they know they are right." 



" True again. You are the philosopher, Karl, but I am the 
practical diplomatist. Now, remember, if Konrad returns to 
his regiment to-morrow, you will manage to get him forgiven ? " 

"Yes, but every hour renders matters more difficult. And 
you will never " 

"He shall start to-night,'' replied Franzl, with comic 
decision. His hand was under his buttoned coat: he assumed 
the attitude of a prime minister, posing. 

As he walked down the hotel steps, and out into the street, 
he threw up his head. He heard a whisper behind him : " That 
is the Chancellor." He turned > "You are mistaken," he 
answered two men who looked like schoolmasters. "I am 
Count — ^von — ^Kauenfels." He walked away in the direction of 
the Casino gardens. " I told her to meet me at three," he said. 

Dickie meanwhile sat looking at a card which lay wpon her 
lap, between her pretty, tumed-up fingers : " The Reichsgraf 
Von Kauenfels-Courmayeur requests the honor of an interview 
with Lady Archibald Foye, at three this afternoon, in the gar- 
dens of the Kursaal. "No answer is required." 

"Cool," she said, for the dozenth time. "I shall show it 
to Konrad. Always avoid complications." She went out on 
to the balcony of her flaring little sitting-room — ^there was 
always a good deal of scarlet about Dickie, widow or not — and 
called down to Konrad smoking on the terrace. 

" She has one external fault, her voice," mused Konrad, as 
he mounted the stairs, " otherwise she is all attractions, all the 
vices that are virtues in women of her sort." 

" Look here I " said Dickie, flinging ox>en her door. 

"Yes. Well? Have you answered?" 

"I have." 

" Of course." Konrad took a cigarette from a tray on the 

"Why * of course?'" 

"Women always do. I do not believe there ever was n. 
woman yet could leave a letter unanswered. What did you say ? '' 

" I sent him an open envelope with * Dickie ain't a-coming.' " 

Konrad laughed. " All right." 

" But of course I am a-going, all the same." 

"What?" Konrad dropped his match. 

" Oh, you think you know a lot about women. All men do." 
She shrugged her shoulders. 

"But you will make yourself ridiculous: he will not be 


"Won't he? That will prove him to know as little about 
women as you do. And if he is, it will prove him to know 

" I do not pretend to know about women. They are numer- 
ous, and no two are alike." 

" Good gracious, I should think not." Dickie cast a hurried 
side glance to the glass. " What is the difference, Konrad, be- 
tween a Reichsgraf and a Graf ? " 

Konrad laughed aloud. 

" Well, tell me I Is a Reichsgraf a Graf who is very rich ? " 

"Yes, that is it," laughed Konrad. 

" I thought so," said Dickie complacently. " How rich must 
you be to be a Reichsgraf ? A hundred thousand thalers ? " 

" Oh, a great deal more than that — a million ! " 

** I wish I was a Reichsgrafin I " sighed the Lady Archibald. 
**You must give me some more money, Konrad; mine has all 
come to an end." 

" So has mine, pretty nearly," said Konrad, embarrassed. 
Had the Biermadel possessed more discernment, she would have 
seen Konrad look uncomfortable for the first time in her life. 

"Oh, nonsense: I want heaps of things. Mourning is so 

He went to the window and looked out. " I wish you would 
not speak of it," he said. 

" Of money ? True, it is a tiresome subject." 

" Of your mourning, I mean. Why don't you get out of it ? " 

She flared up. " A pretty question from you to me I Who 
is to blame, if I am put to the expense of wearing mourning ? " 

He shuddered. " My God, what a thing to say ? " 

She tried to get a look of his face : it was resolutely turned 
to the window. At last she burst into a ringing laugh. *' Great 
silly! Come, it is a quarter past three. I must be getting 
down to the Kursaal." 

" Do you expect him to have waited for yoii ? " 

"If he has not waited for me, he has not come," replied 
Dickie enigmatically, and went to get her hat. 

She found Franzl sitting on a bench in the gardens, from 
whence you commanded a fine view of the lake. But Franzl 
was not looking at the water or the mountains: he was chat- 
ting with a flourishing young Swiss "Nounou," all red arms 
and party-colored ribbons. On the approach of the fair lady in 
mourning, the nurse gathered up her charge and walked away. 

"Nobody ever contradicts me," reflected Franzl. He had 


asked the young girl to stay, and she had stayed: he had told 
her to go, and she had gone. Aloud he remarked: "What a 
lot of crape? I don't like you in mourning." 

" It is a protection against slander," replied Dickie adroitly. 

" You are not looking yourself, my dear. I don't think this 
climate suits you." 

" I am Lady Archibald Foye," replied the Biermadel, " and 
this climate suits me remarkably welL But it is bad for old 
gentlemen: it gives them the ajwplexies." 

"Well, then, my dear Lady Archibald, I see it is no use 
attempting to get round you. I have always had the greatest 
admiration for your head, inside and out. I am monstrous 
glad to meet you here." 

" Say something more original than that." Lady Archibald 
played with her en-tout-cas, and wrote "Reichsgraf" in the 

" You must let our good Konrad go back to his regiment." 

"Is that original? By no means. My conscience has told 
me nine times in these last forty-eight hours. Yes, I counted 
the times. It is a hateful thing, having a conscience : it is like 
having drunk too much beer. I never had one before ^" 

"Before when?" 

"Ifever you mind. Before quite recently. Pooh, why 
shouldn't I tell you, Franzl? Before poor Archie was — died." 

" Wonderful ! " said Franzl, and felt if his cravat hung 

" But I had nothing to do with that, mind. It was in no 
way any fault of mine. Nobody could blame me in any way. 
No, nor Herr von Koden. It was all i)oor Archie's own foolish 
fault. He hit Konrad, you know, without any reason! 
Imagine that. And when a German officer is hit, what can 
he do? Konrad was very sorry: he told me once" — ^her voice 
dropped — " how sorry he was." 

" That was ungallant of him," said old Kauenfels. 

She cast him an angry look out of her innocent blue eyes. 
" I too was sorry," she said, " and I have developed uncomfort- 
able feelings, in my inside, especially of nights, I don't quite 
know what, or why. Poor Archie, I was very tired of him. We 
should never have married. That, too, was his mistake." 

" Humph ! " said Franzl. 

" Do you think it was mine ? " she cried angrily. " Do you 
really imagine I wanted to tie myself down to him? Poor lad, 
he had ridiculous ideas on some subjects. They ruined him 


:first : then they killed him. That is what comes of virtue. At 
college, you know, he was nicknamed 'the VestaL' When I 
look back at his life now, it seems to me like one of his own 
poor flat, exploded puns." 

" Quite so, but let us revert to our subject. The air is get- 
ting chilly. You must send von Eoden back to his regiment." 

" Impossible ; he has thrown up his commission I " 

"Nothing is impossible to Count Roden-Rheyna. That is 
to say: Konrad must go back to-night. To-night." His man- 
ner was very impressive. 

"Who are those people out there in the sailing-boat?" 
answered Dickie. 

" I have not the faintest idea, nor do I care." 

"My eyes are better than yours, Herr Graf. They are 
better than most people's. Do you think Giulietta and Egon 
ought to be out in a boat by themselves ? " 

" Why not ? Two married people 1 " 

"Just so. Well, what were we saying? To-night? That 
is very sudden. I do not think I could possibly get all my 
things packed for Darmstadt by to-night." 

A cold little sunset wind came creeping over the water. 
Count Kauenf els turned up the collar of his coat. " How very 
unbecoming," said Dickie, and he quickly turned it down again. 
"You are laughing at me," he said energetically. "No? So 
much the worse for me. Let us get to business. You used to 
know what business was." 

" Oh, business," said Dickie demurely, and began buttoning 
her already buttoned gloves. 

" I offer you fifteen thousand francs if you leave for — any- 
where but Darmstadt to-night." 

" Who provides them? " asked Dickie. 

"Never mind who provides them. I guarantee their pay- 
ment, I, Kauenf els I " 

"I think Kauenf els is a very ugly name," replied Dickie, 
"but I like Courmayeur." 

The Count had got up from the. seat. She, too, rose, and 
together they walked towards the gates. 

"Well?" he insisted impatiently. "Well?" 

"Call a cab," answered Dickie. A close one came up; she 
held the door open. He stood ogling her all over, sure of his 
success, satisfied, as usual, with himself, and also with her, 
thinking how well she looked, how clever he had been to alarm 


her. By George, he had deemed her very handsome at Kissin- 
gen — the Biermadell By George, Lady Archibald! 

"I refuse," she said. "I refuse. I refuse." She said it 
half a dozen times, with such vehemence that the preponderous 
old personage staggered back. 

" Wonderful I " he murmured. " You refuse." 

" Of course, you old duffer," said Dickie. Her neatly- 
gloved hand played with the cab door: a lot of yellow ringlets 
fluttered about the crape diadem of her bonnet. 

" Dear creature, you don't expect me to go back to Count 
Roden and tell him I have " 

"Failed," said Dickie, and got into the cab. 

"Impossible," said Kauenfels, and got in after her. 

She put out her head on the other side, telling the driver 
to proceed slowly in the direction of her hotel. 

" You are greedy," began Kauenfels, settling himself in the 
growing dusk of his comei^. "I understand now. You were 
always greedy. Well, you can have a little more money, only 
a little. Do you remember, at Kissingen, when you bought sin 
tarts and ate them ? " 

" I could do that now," said Dickie. " Let us go to Moser- 
geiFs and get them." So they drove to the pastry-cook's and 
she choose the stickiest messes on the counter. 

" Sweets to the sweet," said the old beau, when they were 
back in their vehicle. 

" I have heard that before," answered Dickie, her mouth full 
of cream. " How much will you give me — ^fif ty thousand ? " 

Kauenfels threw up his hands in the dark. 

"You see, I am as young as ever," continued Lady Archi- 
bald. " It is you who have aged, old boy. Have you got a new 
valet? He doesn't smooth away the creases as Johann did. 
What, it is Johann? Dear, dear, how sad. You want a woman 
to look after you." 

" I feel better than ever I did," replied Kauenfels energeti- 
cally. "And I look better. I am twenty years younger than 

Lady Archibald removed the tart from her lips and gave a 
low whistle. 

" All women tell me so," he added with desperation. 

"The flatterers! Well, is it to be fifty thousand?" 

"Quite out of the question. Who is to pay them?" 

"You. You want Konrad to marry your hump-backed 
niece, but you are mistaken, I am going to marry Konrad." 


" Marry 1 " shrieked the old Count, so loud that the cab-driver 
jerked up his horse, ere he jogged on. 

Lady Archibald's voice changed to deep-set indignation. 
" What else did you think, pray, Herr Graf ? " 

"Why, you said just now you didn't care about marriage 
—Archie " 

" Times have changed. You must be mad ; you forget that 
you are speaking to Lady Archibald Foye!" 

He tried to take hold of her hand in the dark, but she drew 
it away. 

" They have put me in a big red book," she continued, her 
accents gone quite childish again. "I am somebody. Archi- 
bald told me. A hundred million English-speaking people, 
he said to me, would give the right hands off their bodies to 
be in that book. There is a motto on it. ' Virtus sola nobili- 
tas.' Archie often talked of it. Rank is our only virtue, he 
told me, it meant." She put a tiny handkerchief to her face, 
and wiped away a lot of crumbs, and a tear. 

" Pooh I every tradesman possessed of a million pounds sterl- 
ing can get into that book," replied the Reichsgraf. "Don't 
talk to me of that book. I am Kauenf els, I ! " 

" I don't like Kauenf els," replied Dickie, " but I like Cour- 

"Like me under any name, as long as you like me," said 
the Count ; he got hold of her hand now, and she let him retain 
it. "Dickie, I always thought you charming," he said. 

" And how is Bathildis ? " answered Dickie. 

" The Countesses Kauenfels are well," he spoke stiffly, but 
he turned up the edge of her glove and stroked her wrist. 

" The dear bores I How they must brighten up your dreary 
old castles! Well, that is settled. You were crazy, Franzl, to 
think you could offer me money — any sum, big or little — ^to -pev- 
form 'your good pleasure. Let go my hand. I want money 
badly; that is true. I shall have it when I am Countess Roden- 

" INTever I " shouted Franzl, retaining the hand. 

She smiled, but he could not see that. "Go and tell the 
uncle," she said. " There is nothing to stop me in the * Haus- 
gesetz,' ' Herr Konrad von Roden to Lady Archibald Foye.' " 

" He shot your first husband ! " cried the infuriated Franzl. 
She struck at him; he caught her hand and covered it with 
kisses. They fought in the cab with pretty fightings, and when, 
at last, they desisted, breathless: 


"I am monstrous glad," gasped Eauenfels, "to have met 
you again. You were always a most delightful creature. You 
are right, I am middle-aged and lonely. My sisters bore me. 
You shall have a hundred thousand, Dickie, and Konrad shall 
go back to Darmstadt to-night." 

" So be it," said Lady Archibald solemnly. He waxed quite 
enthusiastic in the moment of his triumph and hers. They 
were climbing .up the narrow Rue de la Gare; it was full of 
people. Suddenly the cab-driver turned on a little electric lamp 
that lit up the whole vehicle, inside and out. 

Dickie sat up straight with both hands to her veiL " After 
all, what does it matter? " she said. " Everybody will know of 
our engagement to-morrow." 

Her companion gave a little jump, but otherwise he sat 

" You can now go to my lord of Rheyna and explain," con- 
tinued Dickie. " Was it a wager, did you say? You have won 

Still the old gentleman did not answer. He was looking at 
his reflection in the window-glass opi)Osite, and pondering many 
things. I am old and ill, he was thinking, and very lonely and 
imcomf ortable, and if she absolutely refuses any other arrange- 
ment — ^well, absolutely refuses! She is even more adorable 
than at Kissingen, and the daughter-in-law of an English Mar- 
quess. And Bathildis 

"Dear Dickie," he said aloud. 

" Lady Archibald, please." 

The cab stopped before the blaze of the hotel doorway. 

" Everything or nothing," said the widow on the step. She 
looked back through the window. • 

" I say, Franzl, swear to me you never made a pun in your 
life? But I know you didn't. We shall be very happy. Gk)od- 

She went upstairs and found Konrad. "Come into my 
sitting-room," she said, " I have something to tell you." And 
there, as they stood by the flicker of two hastily lighted candles, 
"Konrad, I must have gloves." 

" How many dozen pairs a week ? " he answered moodily. 

" And ices, and a toy-terrier like the Princess Pulmarinski's, 
that cost two thousand francs " '. 

"A better one would cost more," interrupted Konrad, with 
fierce-set eyes. 

"And lots more things," she concluded gently. 


" Well, see that you get them." 

She swept him a curtsey. " I shall," she said. " Allow me 
to present to you the Reichsgrafin von Kauenfels-Courmayeur." 

He stared at her. " What a title I " she said, busy arranging 
a bunch of red roses in the black about her breast. " Cour — 
mayeurl Nothing can go beyond that. Poor Archie would 
have delighted in it." 

"You are quite serious?" he said. 

" Quite serious," she answered, " and, what is more import- 
ant, so is he." 

Konrad walked out of the room and across to the Grand 
Hotel du Lac Leman. None of the nephews would ever have 
ventured into the uncle's presence unannounced; he therefore 
waited ; Count Kauenf els came out, and down the stairs. Count 
Kauenfels was beaming like a bridegroom, full of Lady Archi- 
bald's beauty, amused, extra well satisfied with himself. " Well, 
my dear boy," he said, "Well, my dear boy! Off! Ah I 
Going to leave us ? Ay ! " 

" Yes, Herr Graf." 

" It couldn't be helped. A man like me has to have his way 
—or he'd burst!" 

"Dickie's way," said Konrad. He left Kauenfels uttering 
amazement on the landing. Count Roden lay on a lounge, with 
that air of arrogant approval on nis face which his nephews 
knew well and hated. 

" I understand perfectly," said the Count at once, " the same 
thing has happened to me in my day. You want a little money. 
Here it is. I have written to your Colonel. You can take the 
ten o'clock train." 

" He would rather marry her than admit that his stupid dip- 
lomacy had failed," said Konrad. 

" 'No, no ; things are never quite as simple as that. There 
are half a dozen complications. He is a great deal more broken 
than I am. And yet he is the younger man." 

"Well, I am glad it is over," said Konrad. 

"My dear boy, bear up." 

Konrad looked full at his uncle. " I am delighted to be rid 
of her, sir." 

" What ? Do you mean to tell me you wanted to break with 
a woman and didn't know how? And you threw up your com- 
mission? Konrad, I could have believed such a thing possible 
in Egon, with his virtuous qualms and rubbish! But you? 


You have solved my life-long problem, which of you, the hum- 
bug or the rogue, is the greater fool ? " 

" I wanted to break with her/' said Konrad, his face gone to 
patches, " but I was madly in love with her all the same." 

Count Roden-Eheyna rang the bell for his tea. ^'Beally, 
you must excuse me," he said. '^ You had better talk of these 
things with Kauenfels." 


The same days which saw the deliverance of Konrad — ^for 
the time being, at any rate — witnessed also the temporary en- 
chainment of Egon. The fates are willingly cruel, and, when 
God permits them, they do a deal of harm. 

Egon von Eoden's first week at Montreux constituted one of 
those lumps in his life which you see to the end, as you look 
down the journey. One of the knots in the halter Death twists 
round our necks. Nothing wears a man out like objective bore- 
dom or subjective anxiety, a match burning in stillness, with- 
out a breath of wind to blow it out. 

He had rushed across from Bel Kespiro on Giulietta's assur- 
ance that the great Barbolat never stirred away from home. 
Had not this masseur, as all the little inner circle of Europe 
knows, allowed an Empress to die of mortification, rather than 
leave his home patients in the lurch? "There are professors 
enough," he had said bitterly, "in every capital of Europe to 
ensure that an Empress should die before her time." Yet Bar- 
bolat was a royalist, none more so. His ten children were 
named after ten sovereigns he had healed. When he had healed 
the eleventh — ^but that is a ♦story better verbally told. 

When Egon, then, disgusted at his flight from Bel Kespiro, 
disgusted at his difference with Dorothea, disgusted at his 
eagerness, knocked at the big man's door, the last thing he had 
deemed possible was to find it closed. He had reckoned on re- 
turning to the Villa within eight and forty hours. " Gone ! " 
said the supercilious porter, all gold lace and mental superiority. 
" Gone for the first, and probably the last time in his life. Sud- 
denly called to see His Holiness the Pope." 

"The Pope!" 

" ' He canH come to me,' says Barbolat. * Besides, he and 
I, we should sympathize. We two are the only equals, the 
superiors of these tiny, big greatnesses. He holds their souls, as 
I hold their bodies, in the hollow of his hand.' And he is gone." 

So Egon hung on for a few days. To go back seemed as 
foolish as not to remain. He bored himself hugely, and yet 
he gnawed his heart with sharp teeth of yearning and fear. 



There was little hope in his breast ; still, all the long-dead possi- 
bilities were suddenly alive again and aflame. • 

Then came the decisive interview, the few quick words of 
assurance — ^the immediate — ^temporary — conviction, that here 
was truth, probable certainty, strength. The Titan voice of 
the great healer seemed to Egon as the voice of a god. 

He went out from the presence-chamber, and found himself 
face to face with Giulietta. During all the wondrous week of 
increasing faith, of triumphant sight, that followed, he found 
himself face to face with Giulietta. 

" I asked your wife to come with me, but she refused," said 
the Countess Pini. 

" She could not leave her guests," replied Egon firmly. 

" Very true. Why don't you sometimes go and call on Lady 
Archibald? Your brother is often there." 

" Lady Archibald has few attractions for me. Do you find 
I bore you ? " 

"Have I attractions?" 

From the first she set herself to captivate him. Not for any 
definite reason, but simply because such was her way. Giulietta 
Pini was one of those exquisitely amiable, by no means inten- 
tionally hurtfid natures, that can no more live outside admira- 
tion than a fish would leap to land. Everyone knows shoals of 
them. Yet with her there was this distinction to be made, that 
her conquests were not so much the result of design on her 
part as the inevitable outcome of a charming woman's i)ersistent 
eagerness to charm. She was a year or two older than Egon; 
for a dozen years, therefore, already, she had been an enticing 
beauty in her !N'eapolitan home, where all youth is beautiful, and 
most middle age plain. iNot yet thirty, she was painfully afraid 
of an early sunset. Old Pini was her second husband. She 
had never known love, nor vice. 

" Yes, I asked Dorothea to come, but in vain," she repeated. 
"I am sorry." 

" You think she would have taken me off your hands ? " 

" Do not be so deprecatory. Or are you really diffident ? " 

"I don't know about being diffident. That don't seem a 
decent sort of thing for a man to be. But I certainly never 
flattered myself I was a lady's man." 

" I should think not I Was there ever anything more detest- 
able ? We have a few of them still left in Italy. * Ah bellis- 
sima! Graziosissima ! ' " She stopped herself, looked uncom- 
fortable, reminiscent of Pini. 


"No, my husband is not a lady's man," she said aloud. 

"I never said he was." 

" But I very nearly did. One thing you must not mind in 
me; I love to think aloud." 

" Count Pini is what you yourselves call a * galant 'uomo,' a 
very different thing." 

" You like him ? Do you know, I am very glad you like him. 
Let us go and sit over yonder, in that little summer-house, away 
from this noise and dust." 

They- were in the Casino gardens; a concert was going on. 

"I like him also," she said, "I daresay, if we compared 
notes, we should find I liked him very much as you do." 

He was silent, not knowing what to say. 

" But don't let us compare notes," she continued with quick 
change of voice. " Do you know your wife is very sensible, to 
remain where she is, and not to come running after you." 

She repeated the words, sitting in the summer-house look- 
ing away towards the lake : " Yes, your wife is very sensible, 
not to come running after you." Still her gaze was fixed upon 
the lake. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder. That is 
very true, especially when it starts with being fond." She 
turned, with all her graceful vivacity of movement: "Why 
don't you go away ? I don't believe you really like me at all 1 " 

She had expected him to answer, in her own line of trifling, 
that, because he liked her, it were dangerous for him to go 
away, but she was doomed to disappointment. Egon never 
paid compliments — they had formed no part of his straight- 
forward upbringing — nor could he utter sweet nothings which, 
to the Italian, would have seemed less than nothing, and not 
even sweet. He therefore gnawed his big moustache, and said 
that he intended to remain. 

"Her step-mamma will exasperate her, and her parson 
brother will bore her," continued Giulietta provokingly. 
" There is nothing more wearisome than the companion of a 
youth one has outgrown. Your wife, when you first met her, 
she was doubtless very sweet and good. Was she shy?" 

" No," said Egon shortly. 

" She is still sweet and good. I like her. But she has a 

* grand air,' a shrinking little friendly air, as if she would say : 

* Let us sit outside our hearts and be kind.' " 

"What do you mean?" said Egon. 

" A great deal. Let us talk of something else. The weather 
is very fine." 


" Yes, and so mild for the season," said Egon, relieved. " As 
I came along, I actually saw violets in bloom; I could not help 
picking some." 

"Where are they?" demanded Qiulietta, with vehemence, 
and held out her hand. 

" I gave them to a florist to send to my wife. I don't know 
whether you have noticed that the vegetation ^" 

She was not listening. " My God, to have been shy 1 " she 
said. " Shall I tell you about my youth? No, some other day. 
I beg your pardon; what were you saying? Something about 
the vegetation. I do not care a sou about the vegetation. What 
I like is flowers, and fruits, and trees." 

He laughed. "A rose by any other name would smell as 
sweet," he said. "How untrue that isl Smell an *Ebenezer 
Parkins,' and try I " 

"And mountains," she added. "What are mountains? 
Conformation, aren't they?" She rose to her feet. "Oh, see 
— see," she said, "the glory of the sunlight yonder across the 
snow on the Salentin ! " Her eyes sparkled ; her cheeks flushed. 
She sank back on the seat and lay drinking in the whole mag- 
nificent panorama before her : the cathedral-like Dent du Midi, 
vaguely distant, white, lofty and holy, the vast crags of snow 
in the background, the nearer wall of grey granite, enclosing 
the wonderful lake. 

" How beautiful it is ! " he said. 

She started, as if someone had touched her in sleep. " Don't 
laugh at me," she said, piteously. "I — ^I think it is getting 

" Not yet," he replied, for he wanted to remain. 

" Do you know, sometimes, in a scene like this, when some- 
one I like speaks to me suddenly, I seem to have got far away, 
and he seems to have joined me where no one else can come 
to us, and I am frightened. Let us go down to the band." 

Then he obeyed immediately, and gathered up all the numer- 
ous fragments of her personality that were always scattered 
around her, and they came away. 

In the mornings, endlessly waiting for their turn with Bar- 
bolat, they naturally talked and yawned about the big saloon. 
They were not long allowed to remain inactive. And, unex- 
pectedly, they found their names coupled together in a man- 
ner which Egon, at any rate, would have given worlds to avoid. 

One dark and rainy morning, Barbolat burst into his wait- 
ing-room. Some two dozen unfortunates were lolling on 


couches and in arm-chairs; in his comer sat the Imperial Chan- 
cellor, playing at "Mettemich." 

" Well, mon Prince, does it succeed ? " asked the rubber, with 
a scornful glance at the long array of cards. 

^^ It never succeeds," said the Chancellor, in sepulchral tones. 

" Barbolat cast his eyes round the company. " Where is my 
Princess, the pianist ? " he shouted. " Hey, Punch I " (to the 
assistant). "Ah, true, she left yesterday to give her charity 
concert at Vienna. She is cured for the present until she again 
drinks champagne at her charity suppers. Then she will once 
more have the gout in her wrist." He yawned, with a roar like 
a lion's. "It is dull. Is there no one can make a little music? 
No one who can play or can sing ? " 

" I could sing a little, if you liked," suggested Egon, and the 
booby blushed. It has been said that he hated performing in 
hotel drawing-rooms, but he could not have withheld anything 
in his possession from the man who was healing his foot. 

" Can you sing, mein Herr Apollo ? Beware what you be- 
gin 1 I cannot stand bad music. Many are heard here once, 
few twice." 

" Lucky tyrant," said Egon. 

"Doctor, you are a true connoisseur; you shall hear him," 
interposed the Countess Pini, quietly opening the piano. 

" It is my single distraction ; that and making mud pies," 
replied Barbolat, who modelled very cleverly in clay. Two 
minutes later he was back in the reception-room, his shirt- 
sleeves stripi)ed up as usual, his fingers all shiny with grease. 
" Yes, that is singing ! " he shouted. " You have the tears in 
your voice ; it is that ! Ah, beauty ! Wait a moment, my Prin- 
cess, while I compliment him. But you, Madame Pini, your 
voices must go divinely together. Sing a duet. Sing opera- 
music. That ' Schlummerlied ' of his is too sad." 

He turned to the Excellency in the comer. "And you. 
Prince, what say you ? " 

"I dislike music; it disturbs me," replied the Chancellor, 
poising a card between chalky finger and thumb. 

" Come, come ; your game is going wrong." 

"I was just about to win," said the Chancellor, eagerly — 
his ashen countenance almost came to life. " And look here— 
this king has turned up in the wrong place. They always do." 
He smiled at his own hon mot. " They always do," he repeated 
to Egon. 

" Fie, you talk like a Socialist," cried Barbolat. " That is 


the one point which Socialists and chancellors have in common 
— ^their utter contempt for kings." 

"Que dites-vous, docteur? — ^mechantl" said a gentle voice 
beside him, and, without further parley, the Imperial Princess, 
who had got tired of her half a minute's wait, swept past him 
out of the room. 

For a moment Barbolat almost lost his aplomb. " Foolish- 
ness 1 '' he said. "What does it matter? The Pope and I: we 
shepherd the lot. Come, Chancellor ! " 

His Excellency rose. " It had very nearly succeeded ! " he 
said to Egon. "Like all politics. By Jove, and all love 
intrigues." And he shuffled out, chuckling, for nothing spoils 
the temper like gout. 

So it came to pass, in the inevitable sequence of deviltries by 
which men's lives are devastated, that Egon and Giulietta were 
called to do the one thing they had tacitly resolved to avoid. 
They sang together daily, before such illustrious audiences that 
refusal was impossible, and preparation became a necessity. 
Egon found himseK alone with Giulietta in her sitting-room of 
evenings, practising lengthily, before the piano, the successes 
of liie following morning. 

" You do not care for Gounod ? " said Barbolat, as he pushed 
his thumb into Egon's knee-joint. "He may not be first-rate, 
but I love him. You must sing us the big duets from ' Romeo 
and Juliet.'" 

" Choose something else," answered Egon, wincing with the 
pain at his knee. 

"But no: I choose this. I shall ask the Countess to- 

" Choose something else, doctor. There's such heaps of 

"But why?" Barbolat stopped work, and looked up with 
one of those wonderful glances that could see through bones, 
and therefore certainly through eyes like Egon's. However, 
there was no why. Or, if there was, the young man himseK had 
not discovered it. Disgusted, he said to Giulietta, that night: 
" Let us try this again," and, looking away, he placed the music 
before her. 

"Ah! " she said. There was a great deal in the single word, 
but he understood it all; the long expectation, the stubborn 
refusal to start the subject, the ultimate satisfaction of success. 

And they sang, for the first time here, by themselves, the 


words they had sung in the drawing-room at Orta. All the sur- 
roundings of Bel Respiro seemed to re-live around them; all 
Egon's thoughts he forcibly turned to Dorothea. 

"Adieu! — de cet adieu si douce est la tristessel " 

" A— il " cried Giulietta, for Egon had sung false. " That 
is quite a new experience," said the Italian, and closed the 
piano with a bang. 

" My dear Countess, a thousand pardons — ^let ue try again I " 

" 1^0 thank you ; I could not sing another note." She went 
across to the hearth and began pushing the logs with her red- 
satin toe. " Does you wife like the opera ? " she said. 

" I took her once," replied Egon. " The chorus of fishermen 
sang 'Come, let us save the drowning Count!' during fifteen 
minutes, and Dorothea laughed so outrageously I had to bring 
her away." 

" She is right after all," said the Countess. 

" Right in what ? " he asked, curious to gather her meaning. 

" I don't know." She turned full on him. " Life is not a 
bit like an opera. Passion should be lived, not sung." 

"My wife loves good music," he continued uncomfortably. 
"Please don't misunderstand her. We were passing through 
Munich last August and we went to the Schloss Kapelle on that 
great feast day — ^you know — in the middle of the month " 

She smiled. "You are a heathen," she said angrily. 

" No, only a heretic. The music there is glorious, not theat- 
rical like St. Peter's. Dorothea was quite overcome." 

" She must be a very uncomfortable sort of person to accom- 
pany to public performances," said Giulietta. She slapped 
him on the heart, as it were, and he fell back furious with him- 
self for having so foolishly laid it bare. 

" I shall go and see how my uncle is," he said, and moved 
to get his hat. 

She stopped him with a gesture. "Your uncle does not 
want you," she said. "You do not believe me? Let us send 
up a message to see." She rang for her maid. A moment later 
Hans came down with the reply. His manner was embarrassed. 


"His Excellency says that — that " 

"Speak outl" cried Giulietta. 

"He told me to " answered stolid Hans. "His Excel- 
lency was playing backgammon with Count von Kauenfels. 
* Tell your master that he needn't disturb my game,' he said." 


Qiulietta took two steps forward, looking the yalet hard in 
the face. "And what more did he say?" 

" ITothing more, Frau Grafin." 

" You lie, false dog I " Egon started. 

Hans — ^Hans Stunner — grew brick-brown in the face. 

" And I won't disturb his," answered Hans. 

She broke into a shrill laugh. " Qu'il est drole I " she said. 

Hans, outside, in his native vernacular, used a similar, but 
stronger, expression of her. 

She threw herself back on an enormous divan, one of those 
things no woman can sit on quite properly. She lounged some- 
what, and her arms were very bare, as she played with the i>earl 
pins about her head-dress. 

" Have you not yet thought of another excuse ? " she said, 
breaking a most awkward silence. " Pray do not trouble." She 
waved her hand towards the door. 

" I seek no excuse," answered Egon — ^what else was possible 9 
— and sat down. 

She looked up at him with grateful effusion, and certainly, 
for the first time in her life, whether consciously or not, she 
made eyes at him — great liquid black eyes they were. "How 
good of you 1 The evenings are terribly dull. Were, I should 
say. What shall we do? Tell me — ^this Qiulietta, have 
you ever read her? — ^not the absurd opera, I mean — the real 
thing? Of course you h^ve. I not." 

"What? !Never read Shakespeare? You of all people I 
ever met. You, with your " 


But before he could find fit expression, " There never was a 
iworer payer of compliments," she exclaimed, and she went 
across to a side-table and found a little red morocco book and 
brought it to him. "Read me this," she said. "I got it to 
try it, but ahime, %s dull work making love to oneself." 

The book was Hugo's translation. Once more she lay back 
on her sofa. "Let us read it right through," she said. "Let 
us try to realize the parts." 

" I'm an awful bad hand at reading aloud," he protested. 

"What does that matter? I never but once heard any 
creature read well." 

With this he had to be content. Nor did she, when the first 
act was finished, express any particular admiration or grati- 
tude. Gravely she wished him good-night, and he went upstairs 
and wrote a long letter to Dorothea. 


Next morning Barbolat called him " Romeo." 

Nor, for such was the rubber's invariable manner, did he 
ever again call him anything else. 

The days crept slowly by: there were really not more than 
half a dozen, but they seemed to lag beneath their weight of life. 

The quarter of an hour — ^morning and afternoon — of treat- 
ment was torture, absolute physical agony, such as it requires 
all a man's strength of body and soul to endure. All the rest 
of the day the knee was painful. So it should be, said Barbolat. 

Uncle Karl demanded a certain amount of attention, and 
his temper was vile. Under no circumstances would Egon have 
rebelled against endurable tyranny, but now the verdict of the 
omniscient Schlumpgen, though he never quite believed in it, 
made him specially gentle to the suffering " Head." In truth. 
Uncle Karl was weighed down by a number of miseries, which 
he bore with magnificent fortitude, and vented on his nephews 
and his man. "Kauenfels is quite well," said Count Roden. 
"What does he come here for? He says he has a pain in his 
great toe." He hated Kauenfels. 

Konrad had of course immediately returned to his regiment. 
The little matter of his resignation had been cheerfully hushed 
up. The high-bom, if hunchbacked, Hilda had been told that, 
a few months hence, she might order a wedding-gown. In any 
case, she would always be wealthy, though Dickie had written 
prettily to Bathildis and promised her an heir! No answer had 
been received. 

During the few long days of waiting for Barbolat's return, 
the differences with Dorothea, the little incongruities and in- 
equalities, had eaten deep into Egon's heart. It is not good 
for a husband to dwell on such things — ^they hardly hurt the 
nobler wife — ^and he had had too much time to distress him- 
self over them. Had he found the rubber at once and heard 
his opinion, things would have looked very much less glaring; 
now everything seemed to stand out. She should have come 
with him, surely. She should have come to him. He had 
told her not to I It was not worth while. It would not have 



been, had Barbolat at once received him and sent him back 
again. How could Dorothea know, waiting on, from day to 
day, in uncertainty? He did not want her to know, did not 
want her to come. Yet it made him wretched to think of their 
frequent loss of sympathy. He was not angry with any one, 
only wretched. He kicked impatiently at pebbles, with the 
foot that hurt. 

After the doctor had spoken, came the great revulsion of 
fear and hoi)e. A few days of trial I said Barbolat. He could 
promise nothing as to the duration of the treatment; he must 
see what turn things would take. Perhaps he would send the 
patient away to-morrow, bidding him return for a lengthier 
stay, in the spring-time : perhaps he might cure him in a couple 
of weeks. Under such circumstances what else could Egon do 
than linger on alone? — and the days passed, slow with fulness, 
as those preceding had hung still in susx)ense. 

Count Kauenfels' sudden engagement threw Egon into fre- 
quent attendance on " The Head." The lord of Eheyna awaited 
the young man's exit from the torture-chamber. 

" Come and walk with me, Egon 1 " 

"Very well, sir." 

"How absurdly white you look? What is the matter with 
you ? Have you seen a ghost ? " 

" ITo, but the treatment is hardly pleasant." 

" The treatment ? For shame. The treatment is alike for 
us all. Look at me. True, there is nothing much the matter 
with me. I have always thought you made a great deal of your 
little ailment, Egon. Whatever you may have wished, you 
would never have done for a soldier." Count Koden repeated 
this opinion to Barbolat, who, for immediate answer, dug his 
thumb a trifle deeper. Count Roden squeaked. 

" That is about a tenth part of what I have to do to your 
nephew," remarked the rubber. 

The Count did not ask whether Egon cried out, but that 
evening he said to his nephew: "Begad, I wish I could like 
you as well as I ought to do." 

" Like me as much as you can, sir," answered Egon, arrang- 
ing the chess-pawns. 

"God in Heaven! Egon, I should have liked your father 
better, if I myself had been a better man ! " 

Egon sat motionless, with downcast eyes. A solemn moment 
passed between them. For an instant, in the great man's heart, 
a window fell open wide. 


" Oblige me by ringing the bell," said Count Roden-Rheyna. 
"Why the devil don't they bring my tea?" 

Like most men of sense, von Roden detested letter-writing, 
but, of course, like most men of sense, he did many things he 
detested. In one of his inevitable snaps to his wife he men- 
tioned the reading of "Romeo and Juliet," and dwelt slightly 
on the charm of introducing to the study of Shakespeare a 
creature of such artistic sensibility as Giulietta. Dorothea's 
chatty response contained a little say which left him breathless. 
"How strange that the Countess Pini should declare she had 
never read * Juliet ' before, when she told you at Cavalduna that, 
as a girl, she had learnt it almost entirely by heart 1 " 

" By Jove, that is true ! " he gasped ; he went upstairs and 
told Giulietta. 

For he took the volume up, and began where they had last 
left off— 

" Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds! " 

Giulietta bent forward, as the passionate verses swept down 
on her. Her eyes dilated : a sob of sympathy broke across her 

He stopped short. In the soft lamplight he stood silent, 
watching her. And she, all her soul in her beautiful face, gazed 
at him. 

" E troppo beUo : mi fa paura I " she breathed. The Italian 
is ambiguous. 

" I say, could you repeat what you told me at Cavalduna ? " 
He was laughing at her : she started awake. 

" No, nor what you replied," she said tartly. " Do you take 
me for a phonograph ? " 

"Well, you told me that you had read this a dozen times, 
that you knew it by heart ? " 

"Is it any the less beautiful for that?" She looked up at 
him with superb disgust : then, rising, splendidly poised in the 
middle of the room, a crimson silk figure, dazzling white and 
black — 

" Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night! 
Tnat run-away 's eyes mav wink; and Romeo 
Leap to these arms, untalk'd of, and unseen! " 

The words blazed forth in the burning Italian, rushing and 
spreading like liquid fire. 

*' Oh, I have bought the mansion of a love 
But not possessed it; and though I am sold, 
Not yet enjoy'd! " 


She stopped, panting. The logs on the hearth fizzled: a 
little flame suddenly hnrst out of a piece of coal and began to 
sing. Giulietta broke into laughter. "You know the next 
words?'' she said. "ITo? * So tedious is this day!'" She 
threw herself down among the sofa cushions, and yawned. 
When she spoke again, she said quite drily : " It was your wife 
told you, of course," and against his mild protestations : " No, 
you never found out: you didn't remember. I wanted: I 
didn't care — ^what does it matter? Oh, how stupid you are. 

Egon sat down deliberately. "I may be stupid," he said, 
" but I intend to stay." 

She scrutinized his frank gaze for a moment. "You are 
not as stupid as I thought," she said, and then began to sx>eak 
very quickly : " I want to tell you about my youth. You mis- 
judge me. I have been twice married: did you know that? 
My parents were very poor — of the worst kind of poverty, black- 
kid gloves, greasy, violet at the finger-ends, darned. My girl- 
hood was all uninteresting misery: sordidness, cabbage-smells, 
other people's clothes. At seventeen I married an honest com- 
mon-place wine-merchant, to help them. It turned out a 
failure, he died two years later, quite poor. Then I gave sing- 
ing lessons to support them — ^my father had become paralytic: 
he was noble, he was unhappy; he cried a great deal. And now 
I have married Pini — ^why not ? He supports them, but I did 
not marry him for that I " 

" My dear Countess ^" 

" Be silent. I married him for his money. I married him 
to become one of the richest women in the world." She sat 
forward, leaning her chin on the palm of her hand. 

" There are better reasons, and worse," said Egon, annoyed. 

She twisted her eyes towards him. " You think I want all 
that money for myself?" she said. "When he dies, he must 
leave me a very great deal: that is our contract. And I shall 
use it for my life-ideal, my religion, my hope ! " 

"Your husband said something of the kind at Baveno." 

" He ? — ^his religion is not mine. Oh, I am a good Catholic : 
I hate a free-thinking woman. But the Church is rich enough 
— ^what I care about, care about — see, my money shall go that 
great artists may do the great things they were bom to — ^how, 
I do not know yet : there are plenty of ways. I will tell you." 
She drew confidentially nearer. "More millions are annually 
wasted in the useless attempt, sixty centuries old, to make the 


world better: is that not true? But to make it more beautiful 

She herseK gave immediate answer. " That stopped at the 
Reformation. I have nothing against you Protestants, ex- 
cept that you have killed all beauty of form." 

He would have interrupted, said something — ^* Let me 
speak I " She stamped her foot. " The service of beauty, the 
religion of beauty, the belief in the gladness of beauty! Have 
you ever read Schiller's * Gods of Greece ' — ^Heine's * Gods of 
Greece' — ^you, a German? Of course you have. The old 
religions had their wise faith in happiness. God, the new day 
is so pale ! " She sank back amongst the cushions, trembling 
from head to foot. "God has given us beauty to enjoy," she 
whispered. "It has taken me long years of wretchedness to 
understand that. I am going to enjoy, to enjoy." 

He sprang to his feet with clenched fists. The pain of his 
knee shot up into his brain, but he didn't feel it. 

" I have been vei^r virtuous," said Giulietta. " Always. My 
life has been very poor and wretched, very admirable and filial, 
and all that the stunted padre says it ought to be. And when 
I die and rot, I may go to Paradise." She looked down at her 
rounded arm. " Paradise is here I " she cried. She stood be- 
fore him: her chest heaved. "Good-night," she said, and 
passed out through the door into the adjoining chamber, and 
left him alone in her sitting-room. 


Next morning Giulietta did not appear : there was no sing- 
ing. But in the afternoon she met Egon at the door of Barbo- 
lat's waiting-room and held out her hand. 

"I have a letter from your wife," she said. "How sweet 
she is! So good! She asks me to take care of you." 

"You are ill," he answered. 

"I slept badly: I have a head-ache. It is nothing." 

" I do not like to think of you in pain." 

" And you then ? You suffer. I know how much you suffer 
in silence. I asked Barbolat. And it is my fault." Her voice 
broke : she hastened down the corridor. Egon went to take his 
turn with the masseur. 

Barbolat, usually so talkative, was silent all through the 
operation: he squeezed harder than ever, and once or twice 
Egon gasped. 

"F'Zd/" said the rubber, rising, red-hot, with a final jerk. 
"Wait a moment: I have something to tell you. You have 
been a good boy. To-day I know for certain. Your leg is 

" Cured ! Why it hurts like mad ! " exclaimed Egon in dis- 

" I know. I am glad of it. See the little tendon here — can 
you feel it? "No, nor could your fools of professors — it was 
torn: it was dead. It has come to life again — aie! — it hurts. 
Now it will grow: we will put a bandage. You can go home 
to-morrow. In three weeks you will walk like me." He cut a 
caper, the stout giant : his clever face shone with delight. 

" Come ! " he said, and dragged Egon into the crowded wait- 

" Lords and ladies ! " he shouted. " Behold the biggest of 
Barbolat's big successes ! Romeo is well ! " 

A chorus arose of admiration and approval. Every one liked 
the quiet Grerman, who made no fuss about his magnificent 
voice. Only the old Chancellor looked up from his game with 
a grunt. 

" Now, I suppose you are perfectly happy ? " he said. 


" Mais oui, mon Prince." 

" The gods detest that sort of thing," replied the Chancellor. 

Egon tore himseK away from the buzzing interest around 
him and hurried upstairs. His one thought was to tell Giuli- 
etta, to comfort her, to check her most unmerited self-reproach. 
N'othing she had said or done until now had so touched him as 
those tears in her eyes, for his sake. 

On the staircase he scribbled a telegram to his wife and 
flung it down to the supercilious Concierge; then he knocked 
at Giulietta^'s door, and — perhaps without awaiting an answer 
— ^went in. 

It was the hour of winter twilight, still early in the after- 
noon, and already the day was dying. Grey cloud-land lay 
against the window-panes. Masses of white chrysanthemums 
blotted the darkness like clusters of stars. The room was over- 
heated, full of perfumes. By the still glow of the fire, on the 
white bear-skin, a bunch of iNiel roses. In her comer, amid 
the oriental cushions Giulietta, in a tea-gown of dead-gold and 

He stood in the doorway for a moment. He saw her dash 
a handkerchief across her face. 

"Well?" she said, laughing. 

He came quite close to her. " In three weeks," he said, " I 
shall walk like any other man. Barbolat has just told me so. 
Not me only. Everybody. It is time." 

She looked up at him; her lips trembled. "He tells me I 
can leave to-morrow. The thing is over. I shall walk as well 
as any man ; I owe it to you." 

Still she looked up at him ; suddenly she burst into tears. 

" Oh, don't," he cried. " See, I owe it to you. All this great 
happiness, I owe it to you." 

She buried her face in her hands, sobbing. 

" Oh, don't, don't." He bent over her, distressed. 

She lifted her face. "To-morrow?" 


" But you will not go ? " she whispered. 

" Yes, I shall go. It is better." 

"Why better?" 

" I don't know. Do not you also think it is better I should 

"Oh, no, no, no! A thousand times no." 

He faltered; he hesitated; all her beauty was about him^ 
like the opening breast of a rose. Her arms had gone out to 


him in entreaty and abandonment. She was close to him; she 
was with him. He was at her feet, he was beside her, around 
her; they were together; th^r were one. 

Outside, the darkness lay black against the window-panes; 
inside, the starry chrysanthemums shone in great patches of 
pallor. The room was very hot, and heavy, and silent. The 
glow of the hushed fire throbbed wide, like Ihe eye of a watcher 
that I 


The midday sun lay warm upon the Lake of Orta. On the 
terrace of the villa walked Dorothea, watching the shinuner of 
the laurels in the radiant winter air. 

"He telegraphed that he was leaving yesterday," she re- 
flected. " To-day, then, he ought to be here ! " And her heart 
was glad, with a plaintive gladness, in that it could once more, 
at thought of his returning, rejoice. 

"I am glad I can again be glad," she said. For many 
thoughts, and many talks, had come to Dorothea, with strange 
new enlightenment, during Egon's absence. She could hardly 
realize that not even three weeks had passed since he had stood 
on this very spot. Barely three weeks ago they had separated 
almost in anger, in such an entanglement of disappointments 
as combine to make despair. 

Mark Lester had rapidly passed through two stages of feel- 
ing; he had come, angry with Egon for being Dorothea's hus- 
band, and his anger had deepened to realize that the husband 
was unworthy of a treasure no mortal could fully deserve. For 
a day or two he had — ^well, not shown, but not hidden — ^his dis- 
like of von Roden, and had met with calm sympathy from the 
Colonel, but with firm opposition from the Baroness Blanche. 
"I won't hear a word against my son-in-law," said the latter. 
" 1^0, Colonel, there are some sorts of characters you could never 
understand. A man can be brave and yet never win a medal. 
What I value in Egon is principle. Peace has her victories as 
well as war." 

The Colonel yawned. " How nice ! " he said. She blazed 
out at him. " I have known hundreds of men in my day," she 
said. "They always did things because they liked them. I 
have only met one, in all my forty years, who did things because 
he believed they were right." She sat down and tapped her 
impatient foot on the floor. " In that he is singularly suited to 
your own Dorothea," she said, " in spite of all their points of 
divergence. They have been so differently brought up, poor 
f ools^ and we all are the children of our upbringing. Monsieur 



I'Abbe, you at least should appreciate the qualities of my son- 
in-law." She got up and marched out of the room. 

The Colonel sighed, thoughtfully sipping his whisky and 
water. " She realizes his courtesy to her," said the Colonel. 
" Ko woman ever sees deeper into any man than the reflection 
of herself in his eyes." But Mark Lester sat meditating, and 
next morning the second phase began. 

He set himself resolutely to admire Egon von Roden, and 
he did so that Dorothea might feel he admired her husband, 
for he knew there is no conviction in perfunctory praise. He 
could UQt be blind to the fact that she greatly valued his 
opinion, that she looked to him for sympathy, that she was 
perishing for a drop of deep-well water upon a parched soul. 
They had been companions in youth ; they had life in common ; 
nothing can ever equal that bond or replace it. Even the most 
intimate husband and wife are strangers half-way. 

Mark, therefore, cunningly set himself to admire Germans 
generally, and especially such peculiarities of aristocratic Ger- 
man thought and sentiment as he, the radical, might have been 
rationally expected to despise. Dorothea was amazed to find 
him upholding the value of the duel. 

"Mark — ^you — the duel — murder? Killing your brother in 
cold blood!" 

" It isn't murder," persisted Mark. 

" Do not speak of it ! " Dorothea's voice trembled. " To 
me Konrad is a murderer. And — Egon helped him." 

"I do not defend your brother-in-law," cried Mark with 

" No, but you defend my husband ! " 

" You must allow I have small reason for doing so ; he car- 
ried you away from Brodryck. But to shoot a man in open 
duel is not murder, and a second in a duel is not a murderer." 

"Mark — you! A minister of the Gospel! And the soul 
that is sent to its account ! " Dorothea's voice sank low. | 

" How many souls are sent to their account by right wor- 
shipful judges? How many of these are innocently slain? 
Listen to me, Dorothea, if justice were to be had on earth be- 
tween man and man, then the duel were a crime. But now it 
is often the one safeguard of the home ; it is the single defence 
of the weak (who can learn fencing) against the strong man 
who uses his fists." 

"* Vengeance is mine; I will repay'!" cried Dorothea. 


" So He does : often more surely by the weapon of the duel- 
list than by the legal jabber of the judge." 

" You are wrong I You are wrong ! " 
. Mark laughed. " Even if I were," he said, " what would 
that prove ? Did you expect to marry a foreign noble and then 
find that he thought on all matters like aunt Mary?" 

Dorothea started; he followed up his advantage. "Do you 
think that God, whose mercy, and whose sorrow, are on all 
things, sees only the pulpit of Brodryck church ? " 

"Mark I" 

"Dorothea, his /right,' I am sure, is your 'right,' but you 
cannot expect your 'wrong' to be his 'wrong.'" 

" Say that again ! Say it again I " 

"I tell you," he repeated almost impatiently, carried on by 
his eagerness to convince himself, "because you have married 
a man that is upright and chivalrous hearted, you will find his 
highest idea of right to be yours; you are favored among 
women. But you cannot, except in utter unreasonableness, 
expect that all you deem wrong should look as wrong to him." 

She turned to him ; her eyes were woe-begone. " You, too, 
then, accuse me of self -righteousness ? " 

Into his thin face, transparent with suffering, came a look 
she had never seen there before. Her eyes sank. 

" I accuse you," he said very gently, " of living nearer to 
God than either he or I." 

And he went away, unconscious of his want of logic, con- 
scious only of the wound in his heart. 

When she met him a couple of hours later, they talked of 
other things, of a hundred trifling interests at Brodryck — the 
lodge-children, old somebody's rheumatiz. The Colonel yawned 

"I am going away," he said to his wife. "I cannot stay 
till after Christmas. I am dying for a sight of Monte Carlo." 

" You may go ; I must stay," replied the Baroness Blanche. 

"What? — ^this sort of thing amuses you? Why, your very 
back-hair looks bored." 

"I know what I now owe to the duties of my position. I 
am Mrs. Sandring. I shall stay with your daughter." 

The Colonel first broke into laughter: then he held out his 
hand. " Y'aint half a bad sort," said the Colonel. 

But the Baroness told him very plainly, that she hated vul- 
garity, to which she had never been accustomed in the saloons 
of the Casa Prof ondas. 


Undeniably Sandring required a stock of patience at Bel 
Eespiro, where he missed most things that rendered life enjoy- 
able to him. !N"ot all, for his son-in-law's small stock of wine 
was excellent, and his cigars came direct from a first-rate house 
at Havannah. But, as the Colonel said himself, he must have 
the Boulevard or the Bush. In the perfect little house with 
its exquisite view, its choice knick-knacks, its air of white blos- 
soms and empty arm-chairs, he groaned for variety — le8 
varietes. His only distraction was occasional billiards — down 
at the alb ergo — ^with Mark Lester (who might have played bet- 
ter, but the table could not have been worse!), and more fre- 
quent strolls in the woods with the same companion, who 
favored a brisk pace, while the Colonel preferred to dawdle. 
"But he isn't what you'd thought he'd have been," said the 
Colonel with enigmatic praise, " considering he's a sort of par- 
son-chap. For I suppose he is a sort of parson : they must have 
some kind of ordination in those parts." The Colonel's experi- 
ence of matters ecclesiastical was limited. " All the same," he 
remarked to Dorothea, " if I was going to * bless the timely,' as 
Egon calls it, I should send for a regular priest." 

"Why not send for him now?" suggested Dorothea with 
generous Catholicism. 

" Bless you, what should I have to say to him, child ? No, 
your parson has distinct advantages: his play at billiards is 
poor, but he enjoys an enjoyable cigar." 

When Lester, however, began to praise Egon's good qualities, 
the Colonel experienced a keen pang of disappointment. ITot 
so much on account of the praise. " They all hang together 
after all," said the Colonel. By " all " he meant " the goodies," 
and by " goodies " he thought he meant the people who deemed 
themselves better than others, but in reality he meant those dis- 
tinct individuals whom he felt to be palpably higher principled 
than himself. 

When Egon's telegram came the Colonel only said : " We can 
leave on Wednesday by the nine-thirty boat " — and on Wednes- 
day, by the nine-thirty boat, Dorothea had seen them depart. 
But before they went, in the early morning, the Baroness had 
come into her step-daughter's room. The Baroness was not so 
beautiful of mornings, especially not fere she had been generally 
trimmed. She looked rather like a soiled flower-basket, before 
they have put in the flowers. 

" My .dear Dorothea, I have come to thank you," she said. 


"I only just want heartily to thank you, and then I shall go 
away." In fact, she already moved towards the door. 

"It is I should thank you for keeping me company." 

"Do not say that. I am not thanking you for having us 
to stay with you. Please, please understand me> if I say very 
little. I don't want to say much. I should like to kiss you, 
once, before we go, Dorothea. Oh, not the sort of pecks we 
women constantly exchange. Do you remember Lugano and 
your wedding morning? God bless you and him." 

Dorothea rose up and warmly embraced Mrs, Sandring. 

" You remember the little book you gave me in the train ? " 
whispered that lady in her ear. "I have always kept it with 
me. It shall be buried with me — ^ugh I " 

"And you read it?" said Dorothea eagerly. 

"No, dear child: it would give me the blues. And see, 
what would your father do, if I had the blues ? Married women 
cannot afford to be devotes. Even you, Dorothea, do not be 
too good for your husband. Forgive him all things. Adieu I " 

" She is right," said Dorothea, left to herself. " Mark is 
right, I will try to understand everything, to make allowances 
for his views on many subjects, to sympathize in all things, to 
be his companion and his friend. And I will forgive, every- 
thing, if ever there should be need for such a word." 

When her father and Mrs. Sandring had left, she called to 
Mark, by his window. Usually he responded immediately : she 
looked, expectant, for the pleasantly familiar face behind the 
glass. But the panes remained dull: there would be no more 
talks along the hill-side. For only response a servant brought 
her a note: 

" I have gone away, too. No facheux troisieme may disturb 
this wonderful meeting. He comes back to you, cured. I am 
much better: I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all 
your kindness. God bless you, Dorothea!" 

She was grieved by Mark's conduct at first, for which she 
could find not the least explanation. Then she understood it 
was delicacy on his part, the fear lest she should seek to retain 
him or not know how to let him slip away. 

She walked off rapidly, by herself, feeling doubly alone in 
the sudden silence of all her surroundings, yearning doubly for 
Egon's home-coming, not sorry, after all, that Mark should be 
gone (the facheux troisieme; there was truth in it I), now that 
BO soon the house would be utterly filled. 

The twelve o'clock train did not bring him: she lunched by 


herself. All the afternoon she waited in solitude, alone with 
her thoughts of him. The dinner-hour came : she sat down at 
the head of her tahle : with a strange little sinking she realized 
that she had never spent a day thus before, never had a meal 
by herself. And the whole house seemed to thrill with a pas- 
sionate desire for its master — ^her lord. 

She was sitting in the small drawing-room, after dinner, a 
book on her lap. She looked up from its pages, and saw him 
standing in the doorway — in the doorway that led to the larger 
chamber, under the loop of a portiere. 

" Egon I " She leaped to her feet and came towards him. 
She saw that he looked pale — no wonder — ^but also she saw, with 
amazement, that he stretched out his hand to ward her off. 

She faltered. " Haven't you forgiven me," she said. " Are 
you angry still ? Egon, I didn't write it, because I would rather 
say it. I want to confess." 

She paused for a moment. He didn't help her. 

"Dear husband, I have not been a wise wife, though I've 
always been a loving. You have a right to think differently on 
many subjects from what I do. We will talk matters over. 
You — ^you will help me. We will never quarrel any more." 

A groan burst from him, painfully audible. She shrank 
aside, as if a shot had been fired at her breast. " You are ill? " 
she cried. "Is there anything wrong?" — and ran forward. 
Again he made the quick movement which flung her back. 

"Listen to me first: I have something to say." He came 
nearer, passing into the shadow. His voice sounded so strange, 
she would not have recognized it. 

" But tell me first : is it true ? Your telegram said so little I 
You still walk lame ! " 

" In three weeks' time I shall walk like any other man. But 
that '' 

" Oh, Egon, how good God is ! We shall thank Him to- 

"Yes. Listen to me, Dorothea — listen. I, too, have got 
something to confess." 

" Don't let us talk any more about it, darling. I know all 
you would say, but it was my fault. Come, sit down: take off 
your things. Why, Egon, your coat is quite wet — is it rain- 
ing? Let me help you." 

" Mine is a real confession, not nonsense like yours." 

His accents stopped her : she turned pale. " What is it ? " 
she said. 


" Dorothea, most men — ay, and women — ^will say I am a fool 
now as well as a blackguard. Or perhaps they will say I am 
doubly a blackguard, a small one, to have done this thing, and 
a big one to tell you of it." 

"Oh, Egon, do not look like that! What is this thing? 
Have you, too, shot a man in a duel ? " The tears rose in her 

"Worse than that. A thousand times worse. Can't you 
guess ? " 

"!N"oI" Her voice was hoarse with uncertain anxiety. 
" For the love of mercy, speak I " The thought flashed across 
her brain that he might have struck down Konrad in a quarrel. 

Then he spoke at once. " I have been faithless. It would 
be useless for me to try and keep it secret. I cannot. That is 
simply all my explanation: I cannot I cannot go on day by 
day, living a lie to you." 

He stood looking at her, looking away. 

" Oh, Dorothea I Dorothea, speak to me. Perhaps you 
don't quite understand. Oh, for God's sake, don't fall ! " He 
sprang forward to catch at her. But she had sunk back on 
some cushions behind her. 

"Hush! I understand," she said. 

"You must let me explain. See, now I have told you, 
rightly or wrongly, you must hear me." 

" Hear you," she repeated, staring straight in front of her. 
" Oh, no, no, no. I do not want to hear you." 

" Hear me ! Hear me ! " 

" Spare me," she whispered. " Surely you have told me 
enough — surely you would not have me listen to details ? Surely 
every further word between us on the subject were — ^monstrous. 
Let us be silent, both." 

"Then you forgive me? Oh, Dorothea, you are an angel! 
you forgive me ? " 

"You must leave me time," she answered, and her eyes, as 
she looked at him, dilated. " I will try to forgive you. I shall 
ask God to help me. No, I do not forgive you: it is no use. 
Neither can I lie to you" 

" I will do anything," he said miserably, " anything to make 
atonement. What can I do?" 

" Nothing," she said, and began to weep. 

He turned away, and flung himself against the wall. 

When she spoke again she repeated "Nothing," and then 
she dried her eyes. "You were right to speak," she said. 


** There is no other way. You could not have lived this false- 
hood towards me. It is over: I was fond of you, Egon, 
and I thought you were fond of me, with all my faults." She 
rose. " It is over. You should not have married me, but that 
was not my fault. I wish I could help you, but I cannot. It 
is over. There is nothing more to be said." 

He turned his white face from the wall. "What do you 
mean ? " he said. 

" You must leave me this house to-night. I — ^I do not think 
I could go away to-night." 

"Dorothea I Wife!" 

"Wife?" she said. "ITo. You do not mean that, Egon. 
You yourself tell me all that is over. You do not mean to say 
that, now you have broken our marriage, I could stay with you 
— ^as — as ^" She stopped. 

He did not speak. 

"I can go away — ^away," she murmured, "but you must 
leave me this house to-night." She looked at him, dumbly, with 
eyes full of prayer. 

" If you wish it, of course," he said desi)erately. He moved 
towards the door; then, by a sudden impulse, camie close. 
" Give me one kiss," he said. 

But she fell back, crying and weeping. " Don't touch me I 
Oh, don't touch me. I love you, Egon I I love you! Don't 
touch me! I love you, Egon; I love you. Don't touch me I" 

When she opened her eyes, he was gone. 


When she opened her eyes, she was alone. 

That was the first thing she realized, and the last. She was 
alone. She began to pace up and down the long drawing-room, 
trying dimly to understand what had hapi)ened, to gather to- 
gether the fragments, the little that seemed left of her young 
life. She looked up at the della Robbia, vaguely, and noticed a 
stain on the carpet she never had seen there before. 

This sort of thing happened occasionally in classical French 
tragedy: she had read of it there. The characters made mag- 
nificent speeches; it was very splendid- and sad. 

Within her own circle of acquaintance, her knowledge of 
the world as it lives and breathes, such experiences simply were 
not. People who cared for fictitious emotions paid for them, 
in the theatres, at so much a night. She knew few people who 
went to theatres: theatres were wrong. 

" O Lord God, have mercy upon me I O Lord Christ, have 
mercy upon me I " She said the words over and over again, a 
dozen times, without much belief in their efficacy, without un- 
derstanding what they could do to relieve her. She pressed her 
hot cheeks against the window-pane. The next moment she 
was out in the chilly night. Cold — ^that was what she wanted 
— ^bitter, burning cold. 

She wandered down to the silent water. The whole land- 
scape lay dark, a vagueness of heavy hill outline and dull black 
expanse. The last twinkle of human habitude had faded from 
the midnight winter desolation. Up in heaven the lowering 
clouds left a strangely long-drawn rift, in whose distance dimly 
flickered one solitary star. 

She stood by the water, thinking of nothing : she looked up 
at the star. 

The next thing she knew was that she was walking along 
the high road. She had reached the 'comer by the path to 
Rocca del Monte, where the dilapidated chapel stands. Its 
black bulk loomed beside her. The iaded Madonna was there, 
in the niche, unseen, with the bleeding, dead Son upon her 



knees. She felt them close upon her, the hideous group. And 
the words of ,the chapel cornice flamed out into the night : 

'• O voi che passate per questa via 
Guardate ben che vi non sia 
Maggior dolor che quell' Lumenso dolor di Maria! ** 

The first time she had read them their curious appeal had 
sunk into Dorothea's congenial fancy. 'Now they seemed to 
be eating their way into her intellect. 

" Guardate ! — Guardate I " She began to reason to herself, 
despairingly, angry with Egon. 

" I am not to blame," she said aloud, on the high road. " The 
sins of the fathers are visited on the children, and the sins of 
the husbands on the wives." The fierce thought carried with 
it unutterable comfort. She lifted her eyes into far heaven. 
The opening had widened; a hundred lights across it shone 
dumbly down. 

Bible texts rose within her, bubbling and bursting like air- 
balls on the surface of her souL " The throne of His Majesty 
is in the heavens " — " He measureth the waters in the hollow of 
His hands " — ^^ Praise Him in the firmament of His power ^^ 

" Oh, why dost Thou not speak to us in a language we can 
understand?" she cried. She had shrieked the words in her 
anger. A figure, slouching by in the darkness, stopped. 

" What's the matter with you ? " said the man. 

" Nothing. Good-night." 

" Have you money ? Give it me." 

"I have no money." 

To her horror, he struck a match, revealing her, for the 
moment, in her light evening clothes, with jewels about her neck 
and arms. 

"A madwoman," said the tramp, in a matter-of-fact tone. 
"But that is no business of mine. Give me those ornaments, 

She stripped them off eagerly — ^a necklace, two bracelets — 
Egon's presents — delighted to lose them. 

" Take — ^take," she said, thrusting the things into his hands. 

" I am not mad — only wretched — see, the Madonna ^" She 

stopped, too proud, even at that moment, to speak an untruth. 

"An Englishwoman!" said the Italian. "How beautiful 
these Englishwomen aire I " 

She turned and ran, flying along the road, to the Osteria, to 
the cottages. When at last she stopped for breath, she began 
resolutely climbing homewards to the villa. 


"He isn't there," she reflected. "In any case he will have 
left me the house for to-night. We must not meet. We must 
never meet again on earth." 

The stars twinkled down upon her. " The Almighty shall 
laugh. He that sitteth in the heavens shall hold them in 

Through the dreadful midnight stillness, that now seemed 
heavy with menace, she hurried on. But a trifle suddenly 
checked her, a faint whine in the middle of her path. It was 
low, but continuous, some creature, in the dark, by the road- 
side, in pain. 

She stooped, and her Angers touched the woolly body of a 
dog. Immediately she was down on the moss-bank beside it; 
she had drawn the little animal towards her; she had taken it 
up. The dog paused for an instant in its whine, and a little 
warm tongue began licking her fingers. Then some bond about 
her heart seemed to snap, like the bursting of an iceberg; the 
sudden tears swam heavy in her eyes. 

" Poor little dog. Poor little creature. Poor little suffering 
wretch. Poor little tender-hearted beastie." The words came 
pouring forth in broken confusion of different languages. In 
the pauses of his licking, the dog whined again; when she 
touched his left fore-paw, he screamed. It hung limp; it was 
broken. She gathered the wretched little cur in her arms and 
carried him home. 

There were lights all about the Villa Bel Respiro ; there was 
commotion and hurrying to and fro. Methodical little shrieks 
proceeded from the dining-room, where Mademoiselle Aurelie 
Bompard was enjoying a moderate fit of hysterics, surrounded 
by maids and supported by orange-water. 

The front door yawned wide open, and as Dorothea, with 
the mongrel in her arms, crossed the threshold, Aurelie, by some 
marvel of intuition, stood alone in the middle of the entrance- 

" Ah, Madame ! " she cried — at the top of her so shrill voice 
— ^^ what a fright have you given us ! It is like you to run out 
thus into the winter because you hear a little dog howl. It is 
angelic, but, oh, it is wicked! Folle, je vous croyais noyee" — 
these last words in an angry undertone. " Ah, the nasty little 
beast ! Mary ! Giacomo I Where are they ? Take the animal. 
Disembarrass your mistress. See, she has gone right away into 
the darkness to look for the little dog we heard howl." 

"Giacomo!" She turned with uplifted finger. "Surely 


thou mightest have gone to look for the little dog thou heardest 

" I heard no little dog howl," replied the grey-haired Italian 
servant, sullenly. 

'^ Thine ears are hardened by a long life of selfishness. But 
Madame is an angel of pity. She would hear a little dog howl, 

even if it were dead! Come, then, thou poor one " but 

Mademoiselle Aurelie stretched out her arms at a secure dis- 
tance from the suffering quadruped — "Marie will look after 
thee and nurse thee. Madame is trembling with cold. Is this 
a time of year to nm out, without a mantle, after sitting up 
reading, far too late, in hot rooms?" 

"His leg is broken," said Dorothea. "If Giacomo could 
get me a couple of splints, I could set it." 

" Madame ? But the village doctor ^" 

" Any one can set an animal's leg. I have seen the shepherd 
at home do it more than once. Do as I say. I am going to 
my room." 

Aurelie lifted up both hands behind her mistress's retreating 
figure. " Set it I " she said. " Set it ! Ah, set what thou canst. 
And I who had come to thee to be free from emotions ! " — " Go 
to, then I " She turned sharply. " Hast thou not heard, Gia- 
como? Get splints — ^what are splints? Get liniment, wad- 
ding — ^what do they set a broken dog's legs with — a dog's broken 
legs, I mean — get crutches ! Haste thee — go — see thy mistress's 
heart: it is as butter in the dog-days. Learn pity, Giacomo — 
run out into the cold night and get splints ! " 

"Her eyes were swollen," said Mary's cool tones behind a 
pillar, " and all for that brute." 

Aurelie skipped round. She was going to be exceedingly 
eloquent, but Mary's expression stopped her. 

"There be brutes and brutes," said Mary. Whereupon 
Aurelie, who was wise in her immediate generation, walked 
away without another word. 

She found Dorothea calmly nursing the sick animal. It lay 
silent, with eyes languidly unclosing, in a pose of resigned en- 
durance and almost comic content. 

" A nous deux," said Aurelie between her teeth. " Madame 
is aware that Monsieur is gone to the hotel ? " 

"Did you know he had come home?" cried Dorothea, and 
spilt a cup of hot water. 

The French maid gave a discreet little smile. "His lout 


of a German servant is snoring upstairs/' she said. '' All the 
household can hear him snore." 

Dorothea did not answer: she hent her head, fomenting 

" He said he was tired from his journey, and he went to his 
bed," continued the handmaid, with pitiless precision. "All 
heard him. Monsieur no one has seen." 

Dorothea looked up quickly : " Then how do you know he has 
gone to the hotel ? " 

Again Aurelie smiled that terrible little smile. " Where else 
should he go to ? I know my little world. I know its men. Of 
course he has gone to the hotel." 

Dorothea did not reply. 

" Monsieur goes to the hotel," persisted Aurelie, " and 
Madame runs out into the night." 

" Be silent," commanded Dorothea. 

" Why should I be silent ? Madame has no "power to silence 
me, because it is my affection that speaks. Madame has no 
hold on me. Madame can dismiss me from her service, but, see, 
it is only my love for Madame which keeps me from dismissing 
myself. I could get as good a place any day, and a better, for 
I cannot steal from Madame. ]N'ot that I have any desire to 
steal — ^but yet — ^there are emoluments which, among other sur- 
roimdings — ^well! — ^when M. le Colonel engaged me, I said: *I 
am growing old; I would range myself; I am weary of 
emotions.' 'Thou wilt range thyself with my daughter,' said 
M. le Colonel." • 

" Leave me I Go I " exclaimed Dorothea. 

" Had it been summer, I should have obeyed — ^but see, it is 
winter. Many husbands have I known to go to the hotel : many 
wives to run out into the night. And decolleteesi But not 
later than October. Now, I admit that we Frenchwomen are 
frileuses, yet have I not been everywhere? In Russia? When 
the Princess Kossovsky — ^well, well, Madame, do not look at me 
thus angrily. Things are serious indeed, I said to myself, 
before — ^I am not ashamed to own it — ^I burst into tears." 

" My God, leave me in peace I " cried Dorothea passionately, 
coming forward. 

But the maid stood her ground. "I am going," she said. 
" I will go. Only I would pray Madame to remember one thing. 
To-morrow all the servants will know it to be an esclandre: to- 
night they believe it to be a tifF." She retreated and threw open 
the door, behind which stood Giacomo. 


" Ah, the splits I " she cried. " What are they called? The 
stilts! Go, then, Giacomo: give them to thy mistress. Go, 
imbecile, and listen, if thou hear a dog howling in the night I " 
Triumphant, she marched upstairs to the attics and paused by 
a door, from behind which indeed proceeded snoring, sonorous 
as the songs of the Fatherland. At this door the maid dis- 
tinctly hesitated, and a feeble flush played across her yellow 

" Pshaw I " she muttered, " I am forty-five. And did not I 
nurse, all through his last sickness, Jean, the valet of the old 
Marquise? True, Jean was as old as the Marquise herself — 
but, no matter, — ^the path of duty, Aurelie I " She threw open 
the door, crept in, stealthily closed it. Soft calls did not waken 
Hans Stunner, nor did gingerly pulls at the coverlets. Nor 
did rough shakings, nor sudden, violent removal of the pillow. 
A clothes-brush across his honest countenance did. He sat up, 
rubbing his rubicund cheeks. 

"Your master is exceedingly ill," said Mademoiselle Aure- 
lie Bompard. 

Hans Sturmer was out of bed in a flash. In a flash also 
Mademoiselle Bompard was at the window. 

" What has happened ? What is amiss ? " cried Hans Stur- 

"In your bed before I speak another word,'' replied Bom- 
pard, who had run the wrong way in her tremor, and now stood, 
her gaze fixed on the night. 

But Hans Sturmer, for only answer, was hurrying on some 
clothes. " I must go down to him at once. I must go," stam- 
mered Hans. 

"You will find him at the hotel," Mademoiselle Aurelie 
spoke, her flat face still flattened against a window-pane. 

"At the hotel? Why, in Heaven's name? He told me to 
go to bed. He was all right half an hour ago." 

" Two hours ago : it is nearly one o'clock. Let an old stager 
teach you one thing, Mr. Sturmer, when our masters desire us 
to go to bed, there is always something on hand." The Ger- 
man's stock of French was but limited: it may be doubted if 
he understood. 

"I am going down," he replied. 

Mademoiselle Aurelie released her damaged features. " You 
will not perhaps find him quite as ill as you expected," she said. 
" But that does not matter. You must convince him he is very 
bad indeed." 


"How? What? I understand not,'* said puzzled Hans. 

The Frenchwoman stamped her foot. " Any idiot can make 
a man believe himself in danger I " she cried. " A man, mind 
you. Thou goest to him, stupid, and thou sayest: ^I cannot 
rest. Why has Monsieur gone away to the hotel ? Monsieur is 
ill and will not admit it. Monsietir looks ill, very ill, has 
looked so for days' — remember thou say he has looked so for 
days — ^'I am anxious about Monsieur, very anxious.' If he 
swear at thee — ^not before — ^thou must say that he looks like a 
man who is dying. If he force thee, * For three days Monsieur 
has had the death-look,' thou must hesitatingly say." 

" Are you mad ? What is going to happen ? " exclaimed poor 

"Imbecile, dost thou love thy master?" She pushed him 
towards the door. " Absurdly thou lovest him, as I, with more 
measure, love my mistress, God only knows why. Go, do as I 
tell thee. If thou canst get him to believe thee, the battle is 
won. Men are only amenable to funk, as women to pity. Go, 
keep him in his room till I come with my mistress. I refuse to 
explain more to thee : thou art too stupid. Were we women to 
wait for men to understand us, the world would stand still." 

Thereupon she returned to Dorothea's chamber. She found 
little changed there. The dog was lying bandaged, at rest, like 
a child that has cried. 

"Hans Stunner has been here," said Aurelie, standing in 
the doorway. 

Her mistress looked unspoken inquiry. 

"I mean, he had gone to the hotel, but he has come up 
again," continued the unblushing maid. " It appears that Mon- 
sieur is indisposed." 

" Indeed I " said Dorothea, tapping the leg of the table. 

"It appears he is seriously ill." 

" So suddenly ? " 

" Suddenly? Ah, no, Madame. Monsieur has looked ill for 
months. He looked ill before he went. It appears he has spat 

Dorothea sprang to her feet. 

" He is very — ^very nervous. These strong-looking ^6bpfe 
often are. Monsieur cannot endure emotions." 

" I never noticed it." 

"Ah, Madame I But Madame's health is so excellent. It 
is difficult for the very healthy to understand invalids. When 
Madame de Brissay — ^but I could relate to Madame a dozen 


stories, from my own rich experience, of the certain misery in 
households where the wife is very healthy and the husband 
rather weak. Many a time have I seen in this house " — ^Made- 
moiselle Aurelie's voice grew dithyrambic : her look and hands 
went up to the ceiling — ^**many a time have I seen the tears 
gather in Monsieur's beautiful blue eyes, when Madame has 
misunderstood him — ah, Madame, be not angry — ^perchance the 
I>oor gentleman is bleeding to death." 

" Send me Stunner at once." 

'^ Madame, he has flown to the side of his master." 

" Woman, swear to me that this story is true I " Dorothea 
had advanced into the room: the dog lifted up his mild head 
and looked after her. 

" I swear by all the saints in the calendar," promptly replied 

" I do not believe it. He is sleeping peacefully," said Doro- 
thea, yet with trembling hands she aided the maid to hurry 
her into a travelling dress. "Give me my cloak," she said. 
" Any hat will do. Quick : let us go." 

" He went to the hotel, so as not to alarm Madame ! " cried 
the maid. " * Do not tell your mistress : I shall be well in the 
morning,* he said. Who knows how much he suffered before? 
His foot was often exceedingly painful." 

" That is true," said Dorothea. 

"*I promised — ^I promised not to tell,' said poor Hans. 
Madame, we must endeavor to shield him. Monsieur will pre- 
tend to you that nothing is wrong." 

" How can he if he has spat blood ? " exclaimed Dorothea. 

" Ah, Madame, these young Prussians have such wonderful 
recuperative power I " 

Dorothea stood still. Former stories of Mademoiselle Bom- 
pard's prowess — ^hair-brush babblings — came back to her mind. 
" Swear to me by your soul's salvation," she said. 

"Ah, Madame, that is not fair! Madame has too good a 
memory I " squeaked the maid in a flutter. " Go, then, Madame 
— go: we may be too late. We must meet him at once: we 
must speak to him to-night. When people spit blood, they fre- 
quently die." 

" Infamous woman ! " cried Dorothea, recoiling, her big eyes 
open wide. " To you the horrors of life are a comedy : you 
look on and laugh and applaud! What do you understand of 
the abysses of human sorrow and sin ? Let me pass. I would 
not speak to you like this; I would not speak to you at all, if 


I had a human soul near me, a living creature of any kind, 
something to hold by, some one to turn to, now God has let 
me go. I am alone. Do not touch me. Do not speak to me. 
Kespect, if you can anything on earth, my aloneness. I am 

Aurelie Bompard fell on her knees and burst into tears. 
^' Ah, Madame, listen to me I I am an old woman : I could be 
Madame's mother. I have seen many things. Madame is a 
saint: there is no harm in that; but Madame is a married 
saint, and that evil is irretrievable! Saints should not marry, 
for there are no men-saints I I have seen hundreds of men, in 
their hearts — ^not their outsides, as Madame has. Believe me, 
there are no men-saints, whatever the Church may say I The 
holy Madonna was a woman: a masculine Madonna the world 
has never seen. Men are like this, Madame — ^they are good 
often, and generous, and gentle, like Monsieur, but always they 
are gross! Nay, listen to me! Go not, Madame! Listen! 
This night all things may yet come right. The comedy, 
Madame says — the comedy! Ah, Madame, there is one thing 
worse, the tragedy, the tragedy, the dead bodies, the dead lives, 
the slain!" 

Dorothea paused. She drew herself up. "I can bear the 
tragedy," she said slowly, aloud. " The comedy I could not 
bear." She went back to the sofa, and took up the mongrel 
cur in her arms, and, imperiously motioning back the frightened 
Aurelie, she walked down the broad staircase and out of the 
Villa Bel Respiro. 

" She has gone to him : she loves him," said Aurelie to her- 
self, as she began mechanically to fold up and tidy things. But 
there was no conviction in her voice. She sat up all the re- 
mainder of that distressful night, until daybreak, writing to 
herself a long letter on the disadvantage, for a woman, of being 
too good. " Thou thyself, my sweet Aurelie," she wrote, " dost 
experience it. On six several occasions, in four different ways, 
thou couldest have ensured thyself a fortune" — and she pro- 
ceeded for the fiftieth time to enumerate the details in one of 
those refreshing epistles which she afterwards tore up. "I 
could not sleep," she would say, "without my letter. At first, 
as a girl, I wrote them to all my acquaintances, but my blessed 
mother — ^another saint! and an excellent servant — showed me 
the evil of this. Since then I have harmed no one, but yet a. 
domestic has her feelings. I am emotional : I must find a vent. 
Sleep well, my good Aurelie. Were all as conscientious and 


painstaking as thou, the world were a Paradise. But now it 
is more like the Eden Theatre. Is that funny? I know not. 
I am sleepy. Good-night." 

That was Monday. On the evening of the Wednesday fol- 
lowing the two aunts and uncle Tony sat, at Brodryck, after 
tea, over their customary ruhher of whist. It was tlie second 
rubber: they never played more than two. Unde Tony was 
rather i)eevish, not because aunt Emma played badly — she 
always did that, like aunt Mary — ^but because he had sold ten 
of Dorothea's pigs that morning for a farthing a pound less 
than a neighboring farmer had made. Aunt Emma and undc 
Tony were inevitably partners: aunt Mary played dummy. 
Aunt Mary had an unalterable conviction that whist was not 
quite right, because cards, of course, are wrong, but she played 
for uncle Tony's sake (to keep him away from the village club!) 
and, as she refused to risk a halfpenny and took no interest in 
the game whatever and occasionally revoked, she thought the 
evil, in her case, could be condoned. '^ It is when these things 
become a passion that the wrong comes in," said aunt Mary, 
" and I cannot imagine myself, my dear, a slave to whist. Still, 
one must be careful. The heart of man is deceitful — ay, and 
of woman ! And desperately wicked," said aunt Mary. 

Aunt Mary had just played her ace and said : " Oh, I didn't 
know hearts were trumps," when the door was thrown open and 
Dorothea walked into the room. 

" Take back your ace, then I " uncle Tony was saying testily. 
Aunt Mary jumped up, scattering the cards. 

"The lamp I Mary, I do wish you would remember the 
lamp I " screamed Emma in shrill agitation. Dorothea had put 
down on the well-known flowered sofa by the fire, very gently, 
the brown dog with the bandaged paw. Em and Doll, issuing 
forth from unknown depths beneath skirts and card-table, came 
leisurely forward, barked, sniffed. The brown dog sat up pain- 
fully, expectant. The setters wagged their tails. 

"Dorothea, speak — ^what has happened! What is wrong?" 
gasped aunt Mary. 

"Nothing. I have come back to you, aunt Mary!" 

" Egon." 

"Egon is gone. Gone away out of my life. !E!gon will 
never trouble us any more, auntie Mary " — she had sunk down 
on the edge of the sofa ; her hand played with the brown dog's 


" '' said uncle Tony. 

" Oh, hush, Tony, hush! " 

" Antony, I agree with you," said Emma. 

Aunt Mary was down on her knees by her child: her arms 
were about Dorothea. "Oh, my dearest, my dearest, your 
mother I " she said. " It killed your mother : you will not let 
it kill you, my dearest, my own one? You will be brave, dar- 
ling, promise us — ^you will not let it kill you!" 

" 'No, I don't think it will kill me," answered Dorothea wear- 
ily. "Wretchedness doesn't ever kill people, does it? What 
do you mean about my mother, auntie May?" 

But Emma's voice rose, vehement, to Tony. " You men are 
all alike ! " she cried, shaking her impotent forefinger. " Thank 
Heaven I was never married to one of you. I wish I had the 
hanging of you all." 

"Well, for once, I agree with you, Emma," replied Tony 
mildly ; he blew his nose. " That's a very poor dog, Dorothea," 
said Tony. 

" Agree with me ! I should think so ! " cried Emma. 
"Brutes you are, all of you — do you hear me? — ^brutes, beasts, 
pigs, monkeys, apes. If God Almighty offered to change me 
into a man, I should decline the honor. If change there must 
me, I should say, let it be a change for the better. Rather 
change me, I should say, into a tailless ape." Aunt Emma sat 
down with a snort of contentment, and a slap of her blue satin 

Outside, the December wind howled, disconsolate, like a liv- 
ing beast, in the cold and the rain. 

Aunt Mary held Dorothea to her bosom. Twice or thrice she 
had vainly endeavored to speak. She was crying softly. Doro- 
thea stroked her grey head. "Don't cry, auntie May; there's 
no good in crying. If crying were any use, well, then — I cried 
so much in the train, auntie. It worried the dog, and T tried 
hard to stop. A year ago, only a year ago, I don't think I 
hardly ever had cried. I used to think crying was silly. But 
it's useless. I know it is useless, now." 

" God '' faltered aunt Mary. 

Dorothea stopped her. "God is dead," said Dorothea. 


Egon von Eoden lay on his bed in the little hotel room at 
Orta. It was a garish Italian bedroom, all crude pinks and 
yellows, full of the cheery discomforts of a small village inn. 

An hour ago he had quitted Dorothea. Since then he had 
smoked half-a-dozen cigars. He had also ordered up strong 
drinks. These he had not swallowed. His cigars were good. 

*^ Of course, I am a brute," he had said to himself, a good 
many times. "Of course I am a brute." He was quite willing to 
take things tragically, eager to blame himself overmuch. On 
the other hand, he was also suffering from a reaction; he had 
braced himself up to play the great part just enacted in the 
Villa Bel Respiro. All the best impulses of his nature had car- 
ried him irresistibly forward against the rocks. But the final 
crash, with its merciless bruising, had awakened in him an 
instinct of self-preservation. A mournfully reproachful, a 
piteously forgiving Dorothea would have left him feeling very 
bad for ever and ever. At this moment he was angry with him- 
self for suggestions that kept cropping up unbidden of possible 
palliation, not to say excuse. 

" She never loved you," a voice was saying, " with the sort 
of love with which a man loves to be loved. You have 
learnt ^" 

" I am a brute ! " he cried vehemently. " She is an angel. 
Of course I am a brute." 

" An angel," said the voice, " that stood with a flaming sword 
at the gate of the Paradise of the Fallen. The — Paradise — of 
—the— Fallen." 

Hans Sturmer burst into the room. He stopped short, 
when he saw his master lying on the bed, dressed, and smok- 
ing, and stood to attention. 

"Beg pardon, sir, I thought you were dying," stammered 

The cheap answer that he wished he was faded away in a 
grin from Egon's healthy soul. "Dying? Why, stupid?" 
said Egon. 

"Mademoiselle Aurelie told me so, the false French cat!" 


** Mademoiselle Aurelie does me too much honor," exclaimed 
Egon in a sudden burst of bitterness. He lay staring moodily 
at a purple cherub painted on the wall. Dear me, did the 
French maid deem the situation required a dramatic suicide? 
He felt as if quick little Aurelie Bompard had hit him in the 

" She loves her mistress, in her own way," he reflected, 
"better than I. She has sent Hans to lock up my pistols, or 
to administer a pot of hot milk." " No, you needn't order any 
milk," he said aloud. 

"Beg pardon, sir?" 

" I said you needn't order any milk." 

" I wasn't going to, sir, but, if you feel bad, you might take 
some brandy and water." 

"Hans, there used to be a time when I thought you the 
living embodiment of genius. I thought you knew everything 
and could do everything. You were the cleverest creature that 
ever lived." 

Hans Stunner's face lengthened. He could stand anything 
from his lord and master but chaff. 

" I am not laughing at you," continued Egon sadly. " Well, 
Hans, it's small comfort to know you're not as clever as I be- 
lieved you to be, when we were boys together. And even if 
you were, you couldn't minister to a mind diseased." 

"I thought it was your stomach," said Hans, relieved and 

Egon tossed round on the bed. "Have a cigar," he said. 
"Light up!" 

" Saving your presence, no," replied Hans, putting the weed 
in his pocket. 

"Look here, I must talk to some one. Sit down." 

" Saving your presence, no," said Hans. 

" Then, for Heaven's sake, don't stand so straight." 

Hans Sturmer began to understand that something must 
indeed be deeply wrong with his master. 

"You and I have known each other for more than twenty 
years, Hans. There's not a man of all my friends knows me 
half as well as you do. I'm not a hero to you, Hans " 

"You are, by God," said Hans. 

Eoden stared, at the sound of the man's voice; at the look 
in his eyes. "What on earth do you mean?" he stammered. 

" Eight years and five months ago I ruined your life," said 


Hans, his honest lips twitching. "YouVe never reproached 
me with a word from that day to this. Not with a look. I 
could have screamed a thousand times to see you wince in 
silence. Let me speak, Herr £gon. I mayn't be as clever as 
you'd like me to be; let me say my say for once to-night. 
You're cured now. Thank Gk)d, you're cured. I'd have given 
both my legs with gladness — but what's the use of saying it? 
God bless that man, Barbolat I God bless that man, Barbolat I" 

"I wish that I'd never gone near him," exclaimed Egon. 
But Hans did not understand. 

" When my wife died, I was very sorry, but there's no sor- 
row like knowing the fault is yours. I could think of my wife 
without bitterness and wretchedness, but I couldn't bear to 
look at your leg. Why do you make me say these things, sir? 
It's because I can look at your leg now." 

" Talk of something else, Hans. But talk." 

"I went to that man Barbolat before them all, sir; I 
couldn't leave the hotel without going to him. I hope you 
won't be angry, nor tell his Excellency, your uncle. I know 
I'm only a serving-man from the country. All the lords and 
ladies and princesses were there, sir, but you'd told me to take 
down the luggage to the station and I couldn't wait." 

" WeU, what did you do ? Talk I " 

" I walked in and I said : * Some of us can thank the 
Almighty direct,' I said, *and some of us has to thank them 
as does the Almighty's work for Him,' I said. * Your face is 
the face of Providence to mc, Mon-sieu.' And then I went 

"Without waiting for his answer?" 

" Oh, he shouted that after me, standing in his apron, his 
bare arms all over grease. He yelled something about no- 
body's miracles being proved in history, nobody's except his! 
He may not be perfect, Barbolat — ^but I wish I was a Papist 
all the same!" 

" You — a Brandenburger — Hans ! " 

"Papists may pray to good people, mayn't they? Barbo- 
lat's my Saint. And a rum 'un. Count Kauenfels's Heinz 
spoke disrespectful about him. He won't do that again.'* 
Hans Stunner smiled down at his heavy fists. 

"Hans, do you remember — ^when we were boys — and you 
hit me?" 

"Don't, Herr Egon, it isn't fair." 

" Hans, I wish you could thrash me to-night within an inch 


of my life I You — ^you needn't leave me the inch, Hans. But 
it — it wouldn't be any use." 

He had started to his feet. He was pacing up and down 
the room, tall and straight. Hans watched his walk with 

"Perhaps it wouldn't even afford me the satisfaction I 
expect," continued £gon. He stood still, by the window, his 
back to the light. "What were you saying just now, Hans, 
about wretchedness and bitterness, and thinking of one's wife? 
You're a better man than I, Hans." 

Silence I The sudden silence of expectation, of intuition, 
on Hans's part. The silence of utter bewilderment and dis- 

"It doesn't take much to be that, God knows." 

" I'd forgotten my message," said Hans in a flutter. " The 
gracious lady is coming here." 

"What?" Egon had faced round. "You fool! You 
idiot! Hans I what do you mean? What are you saying? 
Here I Who's coming here? To-night I You don't know 
what you're saying. Who ? What ? Who's coming here I " 
He had sprung forward. However he might appreciate his 
servant, he was very near flying at his throat. 

" Aur61ie told me the gracious lady was coming," said stolid 
Hans. " They believed the gracious lord to be dangerously ill." 

" Oh, forgiveness to the dying," laughed Egon, but his tones 
were full of hope. 

"I have nothing to do with tjiis stupid talk of illness," he 
added, presently. " Is it your doing ? " 

"Aurelie told me," replied Hans. "I'm sure I don't know 
how she got at the idea. You were looking very white on 
the boat." 

"Oh, indeed." 

"I thought it was sickness." 

" I suppose it was. And she really said my wife was com- 

" Oh, please, Herr Egon, tell me ! We were boys together, 
as you just now condescended to say." 

"What?" Egon fixed his eyes on those of his henchman, 
as if his gaze could lay bare the one heart he could trust upon 

"What is it makes you so wretched? I have never seen 
you so wretched, not even when the professors went away. I 


thought we were all going to be happy. And — oh, my God, 
what has happened, master, to make you look like that ? " 

" Tell me one thing first before I answer you. If all the 
world were to say I had done an evil action, and I were to 
tell you it wasn't true, whom would you believe ? " 

"You," said Hans, bluntly. 

" Then I know that, whatever happens, I shall keep at least 
one friend till the end of my life." Egon walked back to the 
window, staring into the darkness. "Did Aurelie say she 
was coming at once?" 

"I believe so." 

" They ought to have been here long ago I Why should ' 
the gracious lady come to this place at night, Hans? Why 
should I be here at the hotel?" 

"It is no business of mine," replied Hans. 

"I order you to speak." 

"I would rather not, sir." 

"But I order it." 

"Well, then — ^I presume there has been a — a difference be- 
tween — ^but the gracious lady will made amends." 

"You think we have quarrelled and my wife is in the 

"I should not have ventured " 

" Did you ever quarrel with your wife, Hans ? " 

" Sometimes." 

"Were you ever in the wrong?" 

" Sometimes." 

Still Egon was at the window, his back to fhe room. 

" When they tell you I have done the gracious lady a wrong, 
a very great wrong, you will not believe them, will you, Hans ? " 

" No." 

Again a long silence, a dull silence of ten seconds, at least, 
by the clock. 

"You may believe them, Hans." 

When at last he turned, in the hideous half-light, he came 
forward a few steps, yet stopi)ed at a distance from this friend 
of his boyhood, the companion and sharer of all his twenty- 
five years of life. 

"You needn't speak to me," he said. "I don't want you 
to say anything. You said she was coming, did you not ? " 

" God curse and damn that woman ! " answered Hans. 

"Put away those bottles. Here, give me a glass of brandy 
first. I wonder, if I ran out, should I miss her in the dark- 


ness? Of course I should — she can come half-a-dozen ways. 
Hans, you're my servant — my servant; do you understand 
that? — ^you know it as well as I do. You're the only man in 
the world that cares for me — cares for me, heart and" soul. I 
mean, excepting perhaps young Karl, and I've gone and delib- 
erately thrown you away, Hans. I can't help it. LeaviB me 
now: go and see if they are coming: meet them if you can, 
Hans. No, don't say anything more." But he called the man 
back. "You're sure she said they were coming? She didn't 
say I was to come to the villa?" 

"Quite sure." 

"She might have been here half-an-hour ago." Left to 
himself, Egon began to pace up and down the room like an 
ice-bear in its cage. Sometimes he would stand for long spells 
before the dark window, looking out, looking out. The night 
was endless. Sometimes he fancied he was praying, and 
laughed at himself for imagining that God would hear such 
prayers as his. Was she coming? Was she coming? What 
were those sounds in the dark? Was that a footfall? Was 
she coming? My God, how long it was! How late it was! 
What did Hans think of him, he wondered? What did it 
matter? Would she never come? 

His pride broke away from under him. He sank down on 
his knees by the window-sill and prayed. Let her come! Let 
her come! That was all. Let her come! Let her come! 

He shut his hands over his ears that he might listen vainly 
no longer. He opened them again immediately for fear lest 
he should miss a sound. 

It was not so much a sense of wickedness that overwhelmed 
him^after all, in spite of his own pure past, he knew well 
enough that men are men — ^what bore him down was the con- 
sciousness of the great wrong he had brought upon Dorothea, 
she being she when he married her, loftily, placidly innocent 
as a dove from the nest. He knew she was not as the ten 
thousand decent daughters of worldly mothers who have read 
" Autour du Mariage " and are waiting to be asked. He might 
have proposed to any number of honest women, who, now hear- 
ing his story, would laugh to think there was such a fuss. He 
had found Dorothea at Nice with her father: he had rescued 
her from her entourage ; he had taken her to his bosom — God ! 
his sin against her was a sin beyond redress! 

She would come to him. He would humble himself to the 
dust. She would come. She would come. 


The first streaks of dawn sent their dimness through the 
casement. The heavy darkness lightened in desolation and 

He got up, nimibed : his face was white. Amber and crim- 
son, the far clouds seemed to mock him. The bells of San 
Giulio rang out the empty day. 

He rose to his feet. He knew now that she would not come. 
The swift hope of his soul's awakening was ashen as the cheer- 
less mom. 

He rushed from the room and ran — ^he could run now! — ^up 
the slopes to the Villa Bel Respiro. 

On the terrace in front of the house stood Hans, blue with 

" You need not tell me,'' said Egon. " She is gone. Why 
did you not come back ? " 

^' She passed me in the night, just as I reached the house 
here. She said to me, * Stay ! ' and I stayed." 

"But why? You might have warned me I" 

"I thought all I could do for her now was to obey her!" 
replied Hans, simply. 

"Thou art right, Hans. All we can do for her now is to 
obey her. Come, let us go into the house." 

On the stairs sat Aur61ie, in superabundant weeping. But 
she dried her tears immediately at sight of the men. 

"Madame is gone," she said. "Doubtless to the station. 
She has taken away no luggage. Only an evil-smelling dog 
with a broken leg." 

"But she had wraps?" exclaimed Egon. 

^^TienSy no need to ask if Monsieur loves her I Ah, 
Madame, Madame, — ^poor silly doveletl 'You little know from 
what a husband you are running away I" Aurelie stood at 
the head of the stairs. 

" All the same, Moniseur, it is a vast mistake I Permit me 
to say it, I am very angry with Monsieur I It is not an 
ordinary mortal should have married my mistress. Madame 
should have wedded a St. Francis. Ha, ha I " 

"Peace, woman! Tell me, did she leave me a letter?" 

"N"o letter. Not a word. Therefore, were I Monsieur, I 
would haste to the station. The train does not depart till a 
quarter-past six." 

Egon ran to the door. Suddenly he stopped, looked away 
to shy Hans, half -hidden in the dusk. "True, all I can do 
for her now is to obey her," he said. 


He went into the big drawing-room. The dead-grey ashes 
lay chill upon the hearth. A lamp — ^her reading-lamp — gut- 
tered, yellow, by a table on which lay her work. He stood by 
the fireplace, his hands in his i)od£ets, his drawn face miser- 
able and wan. 


"Monsieur will have some breakfast," said Aurelie, in 
decided tones. She deposited the shiny tray on the table, and 
dexterously whisked under a sofa her late mistress's fancy work 
and book. 

" It is a fine day," said Aurelie, drawing aside the curtains. 
There was a wealth of philosophy in her tone. "Faugh I" 
She carried off the lamp. "Presently there are half-a-dozen 
words I should desire to speak to Monsieur." 

He shook himself. " Say them now." * 

"Not unless iSlonsieur drinks his coffee. See, then it is 
only this. Temporarily, as I understand matters, the house- 
hold of Bel Respiro has come to an end. Much to the regret 
of the basement. I have known families less desirable to 
live in." 

Egon did not reply. . 

"For me also — alas, then! — there is no occupation at 
present. Madame has run away from me. I have sacrificed 
myself anew on the altar of devotion. Like Monsieur, I am 
too wise to run after Madame." 

He would have dismissed her, but she hurried on: 

"I come to Monsieur with a request. From Hans I hear 
of the plans of the Lady Archibald. Miladi is looking for a 
maid. I would offer myself under the protection of Monsieur." 

"Had you not better enter some different family?" 

She glanced at him quickly, with her little sharp eyes. 
" But no, Monsieur, it would seem to me I were better in this." 

"Well, I will see," he answered, wearily, turning again to 
the dead-grey fireplace. 

" Drink, then, your coffee," she said, at the door, and was 
gone. She spent the rest of the morning packing up her late 
mistress's belongings. And, as she folded article after article 
— ^never was a better packer ! — she mused on the dead and gone 
beauties — dead and gone, as far as her life was concerned — 
for whom she had done similar work. "Madame de Viroflay 
left everything behind her," she reflected. "Dora Standerton 
had told Pickford's man to call for her boxes. I preferred 


Jennie Viroflay." She spread out some admirable laces with 
a sigh. The whole trousseau had been pretty well her own 
careful selection. "!N"ever again allow your attachment to 
your mistress to stand in the way of your perquisites," she 
wrote to herself, regretfully, that night. 

Egon, having roused himself, with a jerk of the mind from 
his torpor, went out through the drawing-room window into 
the early mom. 

All nature had awakened. Beyond, on the exquisite island, 
with the silver mirror around it, the white convent buildings 
lay glittering in the sun. Masses of dark laurel and camelia 
bushes shone radiant under the pale-blue sky. A twitter of 
birds arose in the branches. Millions of God's diamonds filled 
the white landscape. Only the devil hides his diamonds away. 

A flight of loud sparrows sank fluttering about the terrace, 
her sparrows, that sought their accustomed meal. He went 
to get some biscuits from the breakfast-tray, and stood scat- 
tering crumbs in the sun. 

She had gone home to the aimts, to uncle Tony. His 
cheeks burned. The whole thing was over. He could endure 
much — ^had not all the last years been years of disappointment 
and suffering? — ^but he could not endure the thought of Doro- 
thea's scorn. What was he, after all, to claim a woman's 
admiration? She had married him, probably from pity, as 
women so easily do. Uncle Karl, who knew all things un- 
worthy of knowing, had said rightly. She had married him 
because of his limp. And all these months he had lived use- 
lessly beside her, occupied with studies she could not appre- 
ciate, or with sports she condemned. No wonder she despised 
him. The money was hers. And now even the cause of her 
compassion had quitted him. N"othing was left in his empty 
existence but the great wrong he had done her, a wrong that 

She was safe yonder at Brodryck. He would not pursue 
her: let her rest assured. Rather would he fly from her 
righteous reproaches to the uttermost ends of the earth. He 
gasped. He knew that the look of her child-like eyes would 
follow him, that the tones of her voice would ring, through 
long nights, in his ears. "I love you. I love you. Don't 
touch me. I love you." With firm step he paced the terrace. 
He was well now, at last ! A career was open before him. By 
some means, by hard work, he would climb upwards. Yonder, 
in the far German colonies, in Cameroon, where soldiers were 


needed, where home-barriers had fallen, sword in hand, he 
would fight his way to the front. 

A great calm fell upon him. For, like all men worth the 
name — ^'tis their virtue and their crime — ^he could rise from 
love to work, and be glad. He saw the future open out before 
him in a halo of success. At last! At last! The dream of 
his life was realized. He would be a soldier, after all. Not a 
mere garrison-dawdler and dancer. Beyond any dreams, a 
hard worker in active service. A man can be bom a Roden: 
he can marry an heiress, because she compassionates his infirm- 
ity: he must gain the Iron Cross for himself. 

Amid the wide mirror the convent buildings lay glisten- 
ing. Over all nature was peace. In the far distance, along 
the horizon, rose the clear ridge of the mountains, lofty, aspir- 
ing, in the pure, imclouded day. 

Hans stood before his master with a telegram. The master 
took it, avoiding the servant's gaze. 

"Return at once. Your uncle has had a stroke. Kauen- 

"We start at twelve," said Egon, and handed the paper to 

The latter, on his way upstairs, was hailed into Dorothea's 
room by Aurelie. " Well ? " demanded the inquisitive hand- 
maid, sitting down in a whirlwind of silks. 

He told her. 

"'Tis the best thing that could possibly have happened," 
she said, and laughed into the valet's glum face. 

"What? Back to that place? To that woman?" 

"Even so, stupid. The worse he behaves now, the sooner 
she will feel compelled to forgive him. As long as she thinks 
she is doing it for her own sake, she will never return to him, 
but she'll have him bacls immediately to save his soul." 

For a moment Hans Stunner's countenance assumed a look 
of blank amazement, at thought of the soul of a Roden under- 
going anything less than salvation. Then he turned to his 
packing. "I am going straight off with you to Montreux," 
said Aurelie. 

"But supposing Lady Archibald don't want you." 

"Dickie's no fool. She will. realize the immense value to 
her, in her new position, of a maid like me. German etiquette 
is no joke, and she knows it. She will have to take life more 
seriously than with poor silly Archie. Have I not been 
eighteen months with the Princess Furstenfried?" 


"You are a wonderful woman," said Hans. "Do you 
speak Chinese as well as Italian and Qerman?" 

" And Russian," answered Aurelie coolly. " For me it will 
be a lucrative place." 

"I cannot understand your consenting to serve under one 
of ourselves : I could never do that." 

. "Do I not tell you I shall make it a lucrative place? I 
am thirsting to find an indifferent mistress from whom I can 
pilfer. I shall never, not in twenty years, attach myself to 
Dickie. Dickie! Yes, I shall start off straight, with you and 
poor Egon, to Montreux. 

And she did. 


" He will never speak a word of sense again," said Barbolat. 

"You think he is dying?" whispered Egon. 

"That I did not say. On the contrary, I think he will 
probaJ)ly last a good many years longer. Schlumpke of Ber- 
lin is a fool. But he. will never again have the use of his 
reason. 'Nor has Schlumpke, ha I ha I But look at his eyes. 
See he has proper care, my dear Eomeo. Be sure he has proper 

"What do you mean?" demanded Egon, alarmed by the 
great man's tone. 

" See he has proper care, that is all. See he has proper 
care." Barbolat was gone. 

Egon Roden remained standing by the bed. His uncle lay 
motionless, a block, unable to stir hand or foot. Only the eyes 
retained a semblance of life, struggling to clear themselves like 
the sun behind a thick veil of clouds. The strain after some 
sort of expression was a horrible sight to see. 

The nephew, unable to endure the spectacle any longer, 
went and sat down by the window, looking vaguely out into 
the park. A newspaper lay on the sill; the Count's valet, a 
smug Berlin youth, had been reading it. "Nobody can curl 
my moustaches like Fritz," Roden-Rheyna used to say. "I 
took him from my hairdresser's on purpose." 

The paper was the Montr eux and Territet Gazette. A 
prominent paragraph caught Egon's eye : " On Tuesday next 
will take place, at the Eoman Catholic Chapel, the marriage 
between the Reichsgraf von Kauenfels-Courmayeur and the 
Lady Archibald Foye, of the Marquesses of Brassingham." 

He smiled bitterly at the foolish adroitness of the wording. 
True, Dickie, the barmaid, was a Roman Catholic. His heart 
bled for the poor old ladies in Germany, proud of their great 
Protestant name. 

People in the street passed to and fro. Carriages went 
by to the Kursaal. One woman flung herself forward at her 
brougham window, looked up, nodded, laughed. He flushed 


scarlet, hesitated a tenth part of a second, bowed back and 
looked away. 

The old man on the bed made a ^rgling noise. Egon 
advanced to the bedside. 

" Goo — roo," murmured Count Roden-Kheyna. He re- 
peated the sound, without ceasing, in distincter agitation and 

Egon rang for the valet. "I know what he means,-' 
answered Fritz. "He's got half-a-dozen sounds for different 
things. I've found out all but two." 

" And how about the two ? " exclaimed Egon with a shudder. 

The smooth valet shrugged his shoulders. " I do my best," 
he said discontentedly. "It's no joke." 

" Goo — ^roo, goo — roo," insisted the invalid. 

"That means he's cold," said the man-servant. ''He's 
always doing it. I'll put some more logs on the fire." 

"Gk)o — roo — rool^^ gurgled the Count. 

"Could you — eh — ^not get him k hot water bottle?" sug- 
gested Egon timidly. He praised Fritz on the man's return 
with kindly words of encouragement. Then he went up to 
his own room, relieved. He loathed sickness, especially in this 
form of abasement, an ugly thing. "The world should be 
beautiful, even in evil and passion," said Egon. Life was 
beautiful: Death should be beautiful, as his father's had been. 

"iNTurse him gently. I will pay you well," said Egon. 

" Poor gentleman, it won't be for long." 

"I am not so sure of that. Monsieur Barbolat thinks he 
may live for many years." 

The valet looked up quickly. "Monsieur Barbolat knows 
everything," was all he replied. 

Egon, left to his own thoughts, wandered away towards the 
landing-place. The air felt cold, after Orta; a north wind 
was blowing. Its fierce freshness pleased him. .A steamer had 
just come alongside; he dawdled aboard, intending to cross to 
Bouveret and come back. 

At the last moment, as the ropes were untwisting, a 
brougham dashed up to the landing-place. "Wait one 
second ? " called the purser to the captain. A lady sprang out 
of the carriage and was hurried down the gangway. The boat 
had started. Giulietta stood, panting, on deck. 

"Hast thou found me, oh my enemy?" she said, and looked 
up into Egon's face and laughed. 

"I saw you," she said. "What a splendid opportunity! 

430 toOKOTHEA 

Come, give me your arm, the boat rolls. Let us walk about." 

He hardly Imew what to answer, awkward, anxious, aboye 
all, not to give her offence. 

For the women we have done wrong with are the women 
we find it most difficult to wrong. 

" Comtesse," he said, " we should never have met again." 

"Do you think so, Egon?" she answered. She passed 
up the small deck in silence. "Well, I for one," she added, 
**have always rejoiced to do things I should not." 

" We will cross to Bouveret," she said. " Was not that your 
intention? And to-night we will return to Montreux." 

" No, no," he exclaimed, " I can't go as far as that. I shall 
get out, in a few minutes, at Villeneuve." 

She shot a keen look at him, and wrapi)ed herself closer in 
her furs. "If Dorothea is waiting for you," she remarked 
coldly, "there is not more to be said." 

" Dorothea has left me." 

She clutched at sometl^ng, anything, a bit of rigging, then 
righted herself, angry, lest he should see. 

" What do you mean ? " she questioned with steady iroice. 

"I told her. She has gone home." 

Giulietta turned full upon him, her mantle dropped open. 
" Ah ! " she said, " I had no idea you loved me as much as 
that ! " She fell back a step, " Or Dorothea ? " she whispered. 
Before he could answer, she had resumed her unsteady walk 
along the bulwark. "Come," she said, "let us go below. I 
cannot stand this cold. Ah, why did I come?" 

The boat was almost deserted at that season, at that hour. 
In the close-smelling, dimly-lighted cabin, a solitary individual 
lay huddled up in a comer asleep. 

" Tell him to go to the second-class smoking-place," said 

"How can. I?" She shook herself impatiently. "Men 
can never manage anything." " Monsieur ! " she exclaimed in 
a very loud voice, "would you have the great kindness to 
leave us alone?" She smiled sweetly. The man having 
started awake, her accents grew seductive. " The very great 
kindness to leave us here alone?" 

"This place is public property," retorted the passenger. 

Giulietta's eyes flashed fire. "I cannot stand the motion, 
that is allj", she said. " I am going to be horribly ill." She 
sank down among the cabin cushions. A moment later : " Are 
we alone ? " she asked, and sat up. " Admit that I can act." 


"I never denied that," he made answer. 

"Yon might speak more prettily, Komeo. I do not mind 
the motion, hut the smell of the paraffin is almost more than 
I can endure. This I bear for your sake." 

" Let us go on deck again. There is a sheltered bit behind 
the funnel." 

" Close the door." 

He obeyed her. 

" Romeo." 

What could he do? He said, "Giulietta." 

" Ah, you are not altogether a brute ! I have been desolate 
since thou wentest away." 

"Oh, hush I "he said. "Hush I" 

"And why, pray, should I hush? Is life so long, and are 
joys so many? Be not a fool, £gon! Thou art as a little 

"I would to God I was," he answered fiercely. 

"Ah, now you are talking religion. I love religion. But 
it must come at its proper moment. Oh, comme il est beau, 
le moment du repentir I " 

"You are wicked," he said. 

"But beautiful — admit that I am beautiful 1 The two go 
together, naturally; in a man's pleasant thoughts of a woman 
they join. You have never known a woman who was beautifiil 
and good." 

" Yes." The stuffy little cabin was still. She burst out 
furiously : 

"Not beautiful as I mean it. You play upon words I 
Your della Kobbia was beautiful, I suppose, the sweet, simper- 
ing Madonna! Beautiful to look at, from a distance, like a 
lily, a church statue, cold and pretty, porcelain, white and 
blue. Not beautiful like a warm, living woman — ^not beautiful 
like me!" She had risen; her mantle was about her feet. 

He stammered a few incoherent words. 

"Admit that I am beautiful. If you have a spark of 
generous feeling left in you, at least admit that." 

" God knows you are beautiful." 

" What care I what He knows ? Say you know it — ^you I " 

"Were you not the most beautiful of women, I were not 
the most wretched of men ! " 

" Ah ! " She sank back on the red velvet cushions. She 
closed her eyes. 

f ' Giuliettaj let us remember ^" 


" What would you have us remember? *' she whispered, lying 

"All that once, in an evil moment, we forgot." 

" There could be no religion," she replied, " without sin." 

" You do not understand me I " 

" I imderstand you too well, and I answer accordingly. We 
will speak no more of the matter, Herr von Eoden. Only let 
me put you one question — promise to reply on your honor, and 
I have done I " 

"Do not put it," he said. 

She had sat up again; her eyes were wide open. "I have 
a right to my answer — ^you owe it me! " she spoke. "It is not 
what you think it is — ^not a silly girl's. Do you love me? 
Love I love! You might say *yesl' you might say *noI' and 
never break your oath. It is ^is: Do you repent?" 

" Yes I " he answered quickly. 

" Too quickly. Of course you are sorry, for her sake. Are 
you sorry for your own?" 

He was silent. 

She sprang to the floor. "I am answered," she cried, and 
her voice rang out in the musty little cabin, "Oh, my love I 
Oh, my love I Oh, my hope ! See, we will love each other, and 
the rest is as dirt beneath our feet." 

He endeavored to steady himself. " Have pity on me 1 " he 
said, " Have mercy. Good God ! I am human flesh and blood I 
Let us forget ; let us separate. Remember your husband I " 

" Ay I go back to your della Robbia I " she said. 

"I cannot go back to anyone — ^to anything — ^you know it. 
The future lies before me. I am going to the Colonies as a 
soldier. But you — ^you will be very happy;" you are the Coun- 
tess Pini still." 

She stood before him in the half-light. Very simply: 

"Take me with you," she said. 

" A great prospect lies before you. Soon you will be one of 
the richest women in Europe. Remember all your plans for 
the future. You are going to help beautify the world. 

" Take me with you," she said. 

" We shall never meet again. I shall always remember you 
with — ^with the strangest sweetness of feelings. You have 

taught me of a terrible happiness that ^farewell! do not let 

us speak together any longer. I am going on deck." 

But she flew out at him like a wild beast that is wounded 


by its mate. " See here ! " she said, and tore a paper from her 
bosom and held it up to him: *' See here I " 

He fell back a step or two. " Impossible I " he exclaimed, 
with his eyes upon the paper. *<Giulietta, what stupid joke 
is this?" 

" It is no joke. Perhaps you still deem it stupid ? " 

"You do not intend to telegraph these words to your hus- 

" The telegram went this morning ; would you like to read 
his reply?" 

She held out a second paper; her hand trembled^ and he 
caught at it. 

"Madame, no further correspondence is necessary between 
us. Kindly mention to my bankers the monthly sum you 
desire. — Count Pini-Pizzatelli." 

" Ah I " she said, " did you think you alone could play 

"This is madness," he said. 

"Why, pray? When you started so suddenly for Orta I 
read your still purpose like an open book. I could not hasten 
off to Monte Carlo, but I was resolved on my part also to 
examine how the other half takes this sort of complication — 
see here I " 

Before he could answer, she continued: 

" There is no further impediment to our happiness. A mor- 
tal has but one life; let us make the most of ours." She held 
out her hand. The strange lights of the cabin played about 
her full lips and her brow. 

" Villeneuve I " yelled a voice down the gangway. 

" N'ous sortons ! " cried back Egon. He had stood quiver- 
ing; he had bent over her hand 

" N'ous sortons ! " he cried back. The purser came lumber- 
ing down to the cabin. 

"You refuse?" she gasped. 

"Let us get out here; let us go back now. I do not know 
what I am saying — ^what we are doing. What have you done? 
Oh, my God I what have you done?" 

"I have acted a woman's part," she said scornfully. "Act 
you a man's. I have ruined myself for you, desiring nothing, 
for I thought you had returned to Dorothea." They were once 
more on deck, in the cold and the sleet. 

" I rejoiced to think it should be so ! " she said triumph- 
antly. "To think I was destroying my future, was telling 


him, glorying in you I That is the woman's way I When she 

loves once for all and for ever. Be yoxirs the man's. Go I be 

suecessf iiL Make a career." 

He put her into a cab at the landing-stage, and walked 

back himself in the wind and the rain: 
That same night he telegraphed to Pini: 
'^ I am here. I am at your disposal. — ^Von Koden." 


• " Count Pini-Pizzatelli begs Herr von Eoden to do him the 
honor of meeting him at Lyons." 

That was the reply. 

On the day, then, of Dickie's wedding Egon drove to the 
station. His uncle still lay semi-conscious, and all but inar- 
ticulate. "His Excellency is safe in my hands," said Fritz. 
A couple of hours after Egon had started came a telegram from 
the Generalin announcing her arrival next day. 

"It is rude of you not to come to my wedding; I shall 
never forgive you," had said Dickie. She had said it to every- 
one who had stopped away, but especially to Egon, whom she 
had waylaid on the hotel stairs. Most people came. Count 
Kauenfels was exceedingly wealthy, and the days when any- 
body anywhere cared anything for questions of decency are 

"To the Lady Archibald, of the Marquesses of Brassing- 
ham ^* 

" n Bathildis had come to my wedding, I should have for- 
given her," said Dickie to old Kauenfels. 

" It would kill her to leave Monte Carlo," replied the bride- 

Dickie laughed. "The more reason for me to forgive her. 
But you know very well that is not why she stops away." 

My lady had asked her future husband what rooms at the 
Castle of Kauenfels were in use by Bathildis. "The Terrace 
Rooms," he had told her. " She likes to creep out on the ter- 
race and Sim her old bones." " By-the-bye," remarked the 
Lady Archibald carelessly, " I have written to what's-his-name, 
your steward, to say that those rooms on the terrace must be 
cleared out for me. I have told him to repai)er and upholster 
them with something bright, yellow and pink." 

" Jove I " said Kauenfels, and sat up redder than ever. 

"Well?" said Dickie, and sat up too, slapping one knee 
with a fair, fat hand. 

" They were my mother's rooms," said Kauenfels. "They've 
got tapestry." 



"Nasty, fusty tapestry I '' said Dickie. 

"Bathildis has had them ever since she was a girl of 
eighteen — ever since her mother died." 

Whereupon Dickie got up and screamed. 

"Am 1 to be mistress of that hideous old house or am I 

"There! there! dear: youVe not even seen it." 

"Mistress of a hideous dd house and a hideous old man," 
screamed Dickie. 

"Dear creature, the neighbors will hear you! You must 
just do whatever you like." 

"I should think so," said Dickie, and subsided, smoothing 
her ruffled feathers with considerable noise. 

"Now you are reasonable, I will tell you isome more," she 
said presently, when she had kissed him. " I have also written 
to the steward, a few days later, to say that you had told me 
the rooms in question were those of the Countess Bathildis, 
and so I must have others, the second best." 

" Why on earth did you do all that? " he questioned amazed. 

" I intend to make peace with your sisters, you stupid. Of 
course, he had written about the rooms, and now he will send 
them my second letter. I am going to touch Bathildis' old 

He walked to the window. " Touch Bathildis's old heart," 
he repeated, looking out into the rain. Then he turned. " My 
dear, I will tell you a little story. I once had a very pious 
dunt. She had two sons, both officers : both ran wild, fell into 
debt, got cashiered. One shot himself: the other refused to 
do so, started a land-agency — ^Unter den Linden — a brass plate 
on the door wi^h his name in big letters, von Stroesching, 
strove to clear himself, paid off his debts. His mother told 
me that, night and morning, she prayed to God to kill him — 
as she called it, to take him away!" 

"Why?" asked Dickie, with mild interest, nibbling bon- 

" That the name might disappear from the street." 

" It is a cruel story," said Dickie. " She was a wicked 
woman, wickeder'n me." 

He stood looking at her, close to the door. " Poor thing ! " 
he said, with almost real tenderness, "to try and touch the 
heart of the Countess Bathildis ! " And he went out to the ' 
notary round the comer, who was drawing up the contracts, 
and talked about his will. 


" There is no better life insurance than making your will," 
he had said to Egon. "Have you noticed that a man's will, 
when not made in extremis, is always twenty years old? I 
fear your poor uncle is going to die, Egon. Well, well, he 
never had much of a constitution — ^unlike me — and, besides, I 
am a good deal his junior." 

Egon, alone in the train, mused dully on death and life. 
Giulietta, by her wanton self-destruction, had created a ter- 
rible position for him, from whose embarrassments he could 
see no escape. He was by no means the sort of man who pre- 
tends to himself that he thinks life a nuisance and death a con- 
venience: yet, for the first time since his father had taught 
him to love sun and shadow, he felt that there are moments 
in a soul's tragedy when the sudden fall of the curtain brings 
only relief. Perhaps, even at that moment, the formless hand 
of Fate was guiding Pini's fingers towards the drop. 

He sighed resignedly. For he doubted whether Dorothea 
would greatly grieve. She was still very young. She must 
marry an altogether different man. She would marry again. 

He flushed darkly. She might marry again in the abstract. 
He would like her to do so. But not the man whom he knew. 

A few minutes after his arrival at the Hotel Metropole, he 
waited upon Signor Pini, such being that gentleman's cour- 
teous request. 

" I could not well come much farther, could I ? " said Bar- 
lolommeo Pini. He put his slender white finger-tips together, 
and nodded his venerable white head to and fro. 

" I am at your service," said Egon, standing erect. 

" Quite so. But sit down. Oh, surely ! My dear boy, let 
us get to business immediately. But there can't be any reason 
why you shouldn't sit down." 

" This is a matter of life and death," replied Egon. " Tell 
me with whom you would have me speak, and I will go." 

"With whom I would have you speak? With myself, of 
course. Whom else should we mix up in this deplorable mat- 
ter? Listen, Egon: you have done me the greatest wrong one 
man can do another. Admit that." 

"I am here to make reparation." 

" I know. According to the rules of your society, the repar- 
ation would consist in your shooting me through the heart. 
Ahime, I have been too long outside society to appreciate that 
sort of reparation. I remember poor Archibald at the Villa 
'Arriet. , And his widow marries the rich Kauenfelsl I have 


heard that Oaribaldi was wont to say: * Never fight with a 
lover or a priest.' " 

" Then what would you have me to do ? Why did you send 
for me?" 

" We are coming to that. But I entreat of you : quit these 

tragedy airs and sit down. I cannot " He stopped, stared 

the younger man hard in the face, with his cruel old eyes, and 
smiled. "Things have come to such a pass," he said. "We 
must grin." He got up and rang the bell. "Bring cham- 
pagne, good champagne, still, if possible, dry I And cognac, 
good cognac — ^have you got Cote blanche? — ^the best you have 

As the waiter left the room, the Italian resumed: 

" Yes, you have done me the greatest of injuries. My home 
is destroyed. I am willing to make all allowances. I know 
men do this sort of thing: they cannot help themselves. As 
for me, my mistress has ever been the blessed Virgin. No man 
understands the temptations that are not his." 

"Discussion must be useless between us," said Egon, 
"unless you mean to fight." 

"Are we not fighting?" replied Pini, smiling. He paused, 
for the waiter came in with the tray. Egon, who knew the 
Italian to be a temperate man, beheld him with astonishment 
pour out and swallow a bumper of the two drinks, mixed half 
and half. "Per Dio, we are fighting," said Pini. "You are 
too anxious to murder me as your brother murdered the Eng- 
lishman. But Milord was a fool, and I am not." 

"We can shoot across a handkerchief, if you like," replied 
Egon hotly. "And you can shoot first!" 

Pini started, endeavoring to hide the movement in vain. 
" Per Bacco," he said, " thou art a better man than I thought." 
But the next moment his eyes were again cold as steel. "It 
is bravado," he said. "The old hate to die, and the young 
love to live. If I accepted thus to shoot you like a dog, Herr 
von Roden, you would soon enough retract and refer me to a 

"Try me," said Egon. Hia eyes were so miserable, the 
other must have noticed it. He would not confess to this man, 
with cheap self-commiseration, that he cared not at that 
moment, whether to live or to die. 

" You are safe, for you know I am not an assassin," replied 
Pini proudly. "And, besides, is your wife not between us? 
— ah, la nobile donna! Bellissimal Purissima! Angela di 


Diol As a shield she stands between you and the man whom 
you have wronged." 

" Do not speak of Dorothea," said Egon, his face gone white 
as a sheet. 

The Italian poured himself out a second tumbler and 
thoughtfully emptied it, with steady gaze on his victim's coun- 
tenance. "Let us to business," he said abruptly. "You want 
to fight: let us fight. But, see, I am a player: I demand 
equality of chances. With firearms, with the ordinary 
weapons, these are impossible. Nor can either of us have the 
faintest desire to destroy the other's life — ^that were foolish I 
What we desire to destroy is the other's happiness, eh?" 

" I have no wish to touch your happiness," said Egon. 

" Ah 1 " exclaimed the Italian, " it is that you think there 
is no happiness left to destroy." 

"All this fighting to kill is idiotic," he added. "It means 
nothing between foes that are not rivals. See here, what I 

He got up and walked to the window : he stood looking out. 
" This will do," he said. " May I trouble you to come here ? 
You see that little passage yonder, under the arch? 
Occasionally someone passes through it — ^not often. Wait and 
watch. If a woman come first, or a man, at your choice, you 
have won: I have lost. You may bid me do what you choose: 
I will do it. Conformably with honor. You may bid me 
shoot myself. If the other way, then the other way — ^you un- 

" Perfectly,"* replied Egon, without change in his voice. 
But he turned a shade paler about the eyes. " The risk is 
hardly equal," he added. "I have no desire to make you do 
anything whatever." 

" That is not civil to the Countess Pini. However no mat- 
ter. I make one restriction. You also may make one. Do 
you agree?" 

" What is yours ? " They spoke quite naturally, in the fall- 
ing dusk of the hotel-room. Egon had taken a cigar from the 
table : Count Pini filled himself another tumbler of champagne. 

"If you let me live, you must let me play. Your demand 
must have no reference to my system. Nor should I, for in- 
stance, become a Protestant to please you, or a Jew I Three 
things remain outside the question, but two of them go beyond 
saying : my honor, my religion and the system ! " 

"I should prefer an ordinary duel," said Egon. 


** Of course/' replied the other quickly, " for then you would 
know all the chances were on your side." 

The German trembled from head tp foot. "Choose," he 
said. "Choose! You are the offended party. As you know, 
the right of choice is yours. My reservation is my wife. She 
is my religion. Would to God she was my honor too I Choose. 
Make haste. Man or woman?" 

A glow of satisfaction settled in Pini's glaucous eyes. 
" Yes," he said. " Of course : I know it. The right of choice 
is mine. I choose — ^the woman I " 

They placed themselves each at a window. The hour was 
four of the afternoon. People were moving rapidly across the 
great grey square in the winter twilight. The little entry, 
selected by Pini, yawned black on the farther side, between 
tall blocks of building. 

The minutes passed. A tram-car ran, jangling, along the 

From under the arch a little white dog crept forth. 

" She laughs at us ! " exclaimed the Italian in his native 
tongue; he meant the Madonna. 

Then a girl, with a scarf above her shoulders, came trip- 
ping out, brightly erect. A couple of other females followed, 
a butcher's boy — ^what did that matter? — ^Pini was back in the 
dull sitting-room, facing his foe. 

"I have won," he said, "I have you in my power." 

He almost whispered these words, and those that followed, 
with low, concentrated heat and hate. His cadaverous cheeks 
glowed in scarlet spots. "He is drunk," thought Egon, and 
steeled himself, heart and frame, standing, as cast in bronze. 

"What can he tell me to do? He cannot torture me," re- 
flected Egon. He felt as if this question had been with him 
for hours. 

" I hate you — ^my God, how I hate you ! " continued Pini. 
"I can say it at last: with what pleasure, what delight can 
I say it ! Twice have you taken from me the woman on whom 
my, heart was set. My heart, I say. Such feelings, such 
impulses as yours are beneath my understanding I From the 
bottom of my soul do I despise and condemn such existences as 
yours." He lifted himself to the full length of his spare and 
elegant frame, and with eagle eyes aloft: "I have you in my 
power," he said. 

Egoli von Roden threw back his head. "You have gained 


the right fo dispose of my life, but not to insult me," he said. 
" Tell me what you desire of me, and let me go." 

"Your life," said the Italian. "Your life is very dear to 
me: I would not hurt your life." 

He paced up and down the long room twice. Was he enjoy- 
ing his victim's torment, or did he find it difficult to speak? 
It is impossible to say. 

At last he stood still, on the other side of the table, and 
spoke in somewhat clearer tones. 

"It is you," he said, "and such as you who destroy the 
Madonna's image on earth. It is you and such as you, if I 
understand the story, who are the serpents that crept into Eve's 
Paradise. Men fight with men for gold, a fair contest, as dogs 
for a bone. They slay women for lust, as a dog leaves his trail 
in the snow. God has not enough angels of heaven to defend 
His poor angels of earth." He laughed. " And so Bartolom- 
meo Pini must help do the angels' work. Monsieur, you have 
placed yourself in my power: I bid you respect henceforth — 
absolutely — every woman you meet. That is all. By a 
strange caprice of fate you are married to the best, the noblest, 
the purest of women. She is your wife. I doubt not we have 
understood each other. You are bound by your honor. You 
will permit me to bid you a definite farewell." With a move- 
ment that was not devoid of dignity he flung open the door. 

"Pray do not trouble to communicate this change in your 
circumstances to the Countess Pini-Pizzatelli," he said. "I 
myself will inform her of what has occurred." 

" I have the honor to salute you," fell from Egon's lips, and 
he went from the room and away into the street. 

The Italian, left by himself, smiled heavily. His thoughts 
ran on a Grand Inquisitor of his race, three hundred years 
ago, who had been famed for the invention of new tortures. 
He drew forth the little leaden image of the Virgin which he 
always wore round his neck, bought for seven soldi by his 
mother, in his childhood, on the Chiaia at ^Naples. 

" Madonna ! " he said, " have I not done thy work this day ? 
In the cause of yon sweet living saint who is made in thy 
image? Forget it not, to-night, when I go to play Lansquenet 
in the club of the Rue Pot-de-Boeuf 1 " 

He rang for the waiter. " Take away these bottles," he 
said. " The cognac is good enough, but the champagne is not. 
Where does that little archway lead to? Do you know?" 


" It is the entrance. Monsieur, to a Registry Office for Ser- 

"Indeed? Not remarkably interesting. I want nothing 
more." He remained dimly watching the gateway, now only 
just visible in the gathering night. "That accounts for the 
proportion of five women to one man," he reflected. "I had 
noticed it all day. Well, look at the zero at Monte Carlo. 
Naturally a player endeavors to get the odds in his favor if 
he can.!' 


EaoN, who had come unattended to I^ons, drove straight 
to the station, entered a train he found waiting, and steamed 
back to Montreuz. 

The sensation uppermost in his mind was relief. But 
under that, and across it, played many mingled sentiments of 
terror — ^ay, terror! — ^annoyance and regret. The fear of him- 
self was upon him in the future, lying centred in sweet recol- 
lection of the past. Yet he could not have well been his own 
father's son and not realised the himiorous side of his desper- 
ate situation* Pini, of all men, intent to do him injury, 
forcibly extracting Hercules from a not undesirable hole, and 
planting him with his face in the right direction : the elements 
of tragic comedy were there : it was to be hoped that Giulietta 
would see them. Yesterday it had seemed to him as if he could 
never unmesh himself from the complications his own folly 
had called up around him; now, at least, the path of duty, 
if not of pleasure, lay plain. He would see at once about get- 
ting his appointment — there could not be much difficulty. His 
heart beat high at thought of a different life, active service, 
hard work in Cameroon. 

As he drove to the hotel, he looked up at Giulietta's win- 
dows. They were lighted: she was there. He was glad they 
were lighted: he could not have told why. 

He went straight to his own room: it was past midnight. 
He saw light through the chinks as he came down the passage, 
and supposed that Hans must be waiting up for him. But a 
woman's figure rose beside the reading-lamp. 

''Die Mutter!'' 

Her arms were round his neck; she had kissed him on 
both cheeks. "To see you come walking in like that!" she 
said. "If only your father could have seen it!" She was 
in her widow's mourning, the little Generalin, with silver 
streaks in her flaxen hair. 

"Your uncle is the same," she added. "I am glad your 
father was never, like that. And now tell me, how is Dorothea. 
I cotild not make out Hans at all : is Dorothea not well ? " 
29 443 


She looked up at lum, saw his embairassnieiit. 

^Unless — ^unless I understand," she said, smiling happily. 
'^l thought it was that. Well, ^^on, I widi yon joy." 

^Dorothea has left me! " burst out the son. ^ She has gone 
back to the aunts for* good — it was right she should go." 

^ Bight ! " repeated the Generalin. She left him and went 
and sat down by the reading-lamp. ^ There must be some 
hideous mistake." 

^The mistake was that she ever married me. She was far 
too good for me." 

The Generalin smiled. '^ So your father used to say of 
me. We had our little misunderstandings, but I never got so 
frightened that I ran away! " 

Then he flung himself on the ground at her feet,, hiding his 
face against her knees. 

She sat silent, trembling a little — ^he felt it — ^her lips moved 
once or twice. 

Presently she slipped down beside him, her arms all about 
him, her hands meeting against his brow. 

"Our Father!" she stammered. "Our Father which art 
--our Father!" 

The glare of the electric lamp lay around them: the touch 
of her hands was on his brow. Their heads were bent low to- 
gether, in darkness beyond depth. 

She had passed into her own room close by his: she had 
mercilessly faced herself in the glass. Her eyes were dry, her 
lips were firm. She had turned to the table, where stood Jus- 
tus's x)ortrait, strong and hopeful, in its leather trayelling-case. 

" I am glad thou art dead ! " she cried. 

In the silence of night she arose from the bed upon which 
she had thrown herself and wiped the tears from her cheeks, 
and went out into the deserted, dimly-lighted corridor. She 
stood many minutes by Egon's door: vague rumors startled 
her; the big building moved in its sleep — she stood listening. 
She fancied she heard his consistent breathing: - she was vexed 
with him, amid all her tenderness, for his lack of pity and of 

The door flung wide open, and he stood in front of her. 

"I was going to look after my uncle," he stammered. 

They went down the long corridor together. 

" Egon I " she said softly, " you are right. Go away nowr-r 


go far — ^to Cameroon. In the future perhaps — ^tEe future of 
God's! But — ^but for the present — ^yes, go — it is best." She 
spoke with difficulty: he felt the misery that weighted every 

Ho put his hand to the door-knob, but held it back at the 
sound of a loud voice within. 

" Hold, then, thy peace, old fool ! " the valet Fritz was say- 
ing. "Ah! villain! thy day is over! Goo-roo! goo-roo! I 
will teach thee to disturb me. I have given thee all thou 
needest : let me sleep I " 

" Goo-roo 1 " gurgled the invalid. A dull thud followed, as 
if of a blow. The next moment Egon had kicked open the 
resisting door. The next, Fritz lay sprawling; on the carpet 
with a downpour of stars all about him. 

" Pick yourself up and be gone," said Egon, turning to the 
bed, where lay stretched his Excellency Count von Roden- 
Hheyna, Hereditary Member of the Herrenhaus and Lord of 
the Imperial Bedchamber, with* the crimsoning stain of a 
menial's hand across his congested face. 

Passion and rage and despair filled the old man's every 
feature : his blood-shot eyes seemed starting from their sockets : 
the nostrils trembled : the blue-black veins stood out in quiver- 
ing lumps. By superhuman effort he had succeeded in moving 
his arms a little across the counterpane, the finger-ends twitched 
and fumbled, the whole of his wretched dumb straining was a 
struggle of apx)eal to his nephew for help. 

" Goo-gon," he gasped, and a wave of relief broke over his 
face as the new sound at last found utterance : " Goo-gon ! " 

" He means me," said Egon. " Go and rest, mother, after 
your journey. I will remain with him." 

With an immense effort, agonizing to see, the old Count half 
lifted his lean head. It hung distorted, discolored with purple 
stains — ^the hot scar across it. " Always ! " he said, and fell 
back, his eyes closing, in a faint. 

Next morning, at an early hour, Egon sought Barbolat. 

"My uncle has had a long sleep," he said. "He seems to 
be somewhat recovering the use of his speech, but the words 
come all wrong." 

"I told you he would never talk sense again." 

"And the use of his limbs?" 

"I don't think he will recover it." 

"But you think he will live?" 


" As long as you let him/' 

Egon hesitated and looked away. "What do you mean by 
that?" he asked at length. 

" What I say. If at any time I fall into your uncle's con- 
dition, I hope some one who cares for me will kill me. Did 
you ever hear what happened to the King of — ^no, I will not 
tell you." 

"Yes, you will." 


" I said yes, you will." 

"Do you know that you are speaking to Barbolat?" 

"Yes. I believe absolutely in the wisdom, and good sense 
and good heart. of Barbolat." 

The great man laughed. Then he went and closed the door 
of his cabinet. " I will not breathe his name," he said, " not 
even to the walls. But you know there was a king in Europe, 
not so very long ago, who went silly — a ruler of millions. He 
was imbecile for years, and «ared for by devoted dom^tics. 
When he died, his body was discovered to be a mass of blue 

"What?" exclaimed Egon. 

"Pinches. He used to cry a good deal, and his children, 
who occasionally went to see him, thought him very discon- 
tented. Pooh I I am not going to pity him. Have you ever 
seen a king?" 


" Yes, yes ; I know. And of course your uncle is a king in 
a small way. But I have seen all the royalties of Europe, 
stripped body and soul. I am a pork butcher's son and a mil- 
lionaire. If their servants get a rare chance of pinching them, 
it is not I will pity the kings." 

" But yet ^" began Egon. 

"You have never nursed an old creature who was imbecile, 
cared for it, cleaned it, looked after it, day after day. Human 
nature cannot stand its f retfulness, naughtiness, dirtiness. The 
best becomes cruel. The kindest gives the patient a final pill. 
But that must be a relative. The strangers prefer to retain 
a lucrative post." 

"You cannot mean what you are saying?" 

"I mean it all. Your uncle, however, was probably not 
the best of masters, Herr von Eoden. Do all you can for him; 
you needn't do more." 

Egon went to his mother : ^ *I am not going to the Colonies 


after all/' he said, " I am going to stay with TJnde KarL" 

She looked at him. 

"There is no one else," he said simply. "The Child must 
go on with his work, and Konrad must stay with his regiment. 
I am free." 

"Your sister and I?" 

"I hardly fancy it will be woman's work." 

She was silent. 

" Little mother — ^I may still call you that." 

"Egon— son!" 

" He says it may last for years." 

She rose. 

"The future is God's," she said. "Egon, I will not re- 
proach you. Do you know who is most in my thoughts?" 

" Yes," he answered. " I see still the small room at Lugano, 
you and her together — poor aunt Mary I Mother, I cannot help 
it. I can do no more than atone." 

"It is all; it is so little 1" said the Generalin, sadly. "It 
is very much; it is nothing. Nothing, The future is God's." 

That same day came a letter from Giulietta, a letter of 
scornful farewell. Barbolat, it appears, had suddenly cured 
her. She departed to Naples, where her poor father was suf- 
fering from a cold on the chest. 


^'I WONDEB what it can be," said aunt Emma. She stood, 
staring, at the window. The long winter road, beyond the 
carriage-sweep, was very white about the ground, very black 
about the trees, very grey about the sky. It did not look at 
all the sort of place for anything interesting to happen in. 

" What? " questioned aunt Mary, and laid down her Dorcas 

" K I knew what, I shouldn't wonder," replied Emma. She 
had grown a little acidulous of late; Dorothea's misfortune 
had soured her, like a thunderstorm turning cream. She said 
so herself. ^ I don't dislike an acrid touch about cream, when 
it's good," said uncle Tony. 

Aunt Mary approached the window. 

Two fair-sized carts were plodding up the high-road; in 
front of them crept a ricketty wagonette; the three vehicles 
made a little procession against the December sky. 

"People moving," said Mary. 

"It don't look a bit like it. The carts are full of boxes. 
Good gracious, they're stopping at our gate!" 

"They're asking the way," said aunt Mary. 

"Well, there's Antony; I'm glad of that," exclaimed Emma. 
" I don't like the look of the man who's got out of the wagon- 
ette." Nor, indeed, did Em and Doll: their shrill protests 
could be iieard, around the strangers. 

" They are coming to the house ; the carts are turning into 
the avenue I " shrieked Emma. " Dorothea I Dorothea ! 
Something is going to happen ! Oh, what fun ! " 

Dorothea, who had bent over her charity flannels by the fire- 
place, now gently pushed the dog with the bandaged leg from 
off her skirt, and came forward. The dog whined after her, 
with great yearning brown eyes. Dorothea's face was solemn, 
but she smiled. All the sadness of her countenance seemed 
lighted into sunshine when she smiled. 

The conveyance had drawn aside to let the heavy laden 
carts come up to the front door. Uncle Tony, in his brown 
velveteens, was expostulating vehemently with the insolent 


driver from the town. The stranger — a neat man in black 
clothes, clean shaven — stood looking on, impassive. 

" That is an English servant, I should say," remarked Doro- 
thea. The aunts both gazed at her in respectful admiration, 
since the child had gone out to see the world, just a year ago, 
she had suddenly grown infinitely wiser than they. 

Before they could say much more, in the delicious flutter 
of excitement which possessed them — ^let those who laugh go 
♦and winter at Brodryck — ^before aunt Enmia's fancy had dis- 
ported itself in more than a dozen wrong directions, uncle 
Tony and the stranger were in thie sitting-room. "My dear 
Dorothea," said Tony, " this person has a message for you." 

"If you please, madam, are you Madam von Roden?" 
asked the person in English, "because, if so, I was to deliver 
this letter into your own hands. I am acting by the orders 
of my master, the Marquess of Brassingham, Madam, if you 
please." The last words were aimed at uncle Tony, who 
appeared quite unconscious of anything, even of the sniffing 
Em and Doll. Aunt Mary gently called the dogs away from 
the Englishman's dapper, twitching, little legs. 

Dorothea took the letter and read its contents — German 
sentences straggling across the paper, as if their concocter could 
not quite direct their course. 

"Dear Erau von Roden, 

My first husband, — ^poor fellow! — on the night before 
his death wrote me a letter, in which, amongst other things, 
he asked me to send you these boxes. He was good enough to 
say that you alone, of us all, had shown an intelligent interest 
in the subject. He adds something ridiculous about not 
addressing you himself, but, of course, he was overwrought. 
His desire was that the whole collection should be completed 
and catalogued and presented to the British Museum. Cer- 
tainly, I should have neither the time nor the inclination to 
undertake such a work. Perhaps, under the present circum- 
stances, you will. — Elizabeth, 

Reichsgrafin von Kauenfels-Courmayeur. 

P.S.— Looks well, eh?" 

A couple of men, under Caspar's unwilling direction, were 
dragging a cumbrous oak chest through the hall. "There's 
two dozen more," protested Caspar. 

"The others are packing cases, madam," said the English 


servant. " This chest, I was to inform you, contained my late 
Lord Archibald's most important papers. These, madam, are 
the keys. There are twenty-seven large packing, cases and 
three small ones. My lord ordered everything to be packed; 
my lady was most particular about it. And I was to ask for 
a receipt from you, madam, if you please." 

" Cotmt the boxes ! " commanded uncle Tony. 

"What do they contain? Bric-li-brac ? " cried aunt Emiiia. 
" Oh, I hox)e it is brac-a-brac. And china." 

The man-servant had opened the great oaken chest. Uncle 
Tony, diving down amongst its papers, produced a faded port- 
folio, a quantity of scrap books. The carter's men were busy 
lining the hall and the passage. Huge boxes were piling up 
all over the place. 

" It is Archibald's comic collection I " gasx)ed Dorothea. 

Uncle Tony had been busy untying the portfolio; a flood 
of highly colored drawings now escaped from it, spreading 
across the carpet a suddenly brilliant corps de ballet, in a 
variety of poses and fle^-tints and spangles, which did honor 
to the caricaturist's ability and justice to the morals of the 
(second) Empire. 

" How amazingly improper I " said aunt Emma. Aunt 
Maiy said nothing. Uncle Tony roared. 

"I believe, madam, the contents of this case are very valu- 
able," said the servant in decorous reproach. 

He and Dorothea and Tony were down on the floor together, 
gathering up the papers. 

"Such things ought to be burned," declared aunt Emma. 

Uncle Tony roared again. 

" For Heaven's sake, let somebody stop those boxes ! " cried 
aunt Enuna. 

Dorothea went out into the entrance-hall. One box had 
been broken open. Dozens of volumes of the " Miegende Blat- 
ter" were visible, packed in piles. 

Standing amongst these acciunulated treasures, with the 
servants still heaping them up all around her, Dorothea recalled 
young Lord Archibald's boyish countenance: she seemed to 
hear again his rather foolish laugh. The man-servant had 
come to her elbow. 

" If I saw you alone, Madam," he began hurriedly, " I was 
to say from my lady that my lady begged and prayed you to 
execute Lord Archibald's last wish. My lord is angry, and 
can't bear to have him mentioned, but my lady was his mother. 


you see. And there's the dog, Madam, 'Flirt/ that was sent 
home from Italy, it appears that Lord Archibald said you was 
to have it, but I was to ask from my lady, might she keep the 
dog? and please not to betray her to my lord." 

"Of course — of course she must keep him. Tell her I will 
do what I can." 

" Then, Madam, would you please to write a few words on 
a bit of paper to say that you have received the collection, 
but don't wish for the dog." 

So it came about that Dorothea had her hands full of work 
to overflowing — all the charity sewing aunt Mary couldn't 
manage, and now, into the bargain, the endless sorting and 
cataloguing of this wilderness of wit. Archie had done his 
work at haphazard. Immense quantities of labor remained. 
With her thoroughness, having set herself to the uncongenial 
task, she plodded on. Puns, jokes, Joe Millers, coarse pleasan- 
tries, clever drawings — funniness, funniness from morning to 
night. Her sore heart sickened in that atmosphere of laughter. 
She was glad to have no time for thought about herself: on 
the other hand, she certainly felt little desire to spend her days 
with jests and jesters. For the laugh of the fool is as heavi- 
ness to the soul that dwelleth in grief. 

Uncle Tony thoroughly enjoyed the collection, and proved 
a continuous help. In fact, she could not possibly have done 
the work had he not shown her how. Aimt Emma gave irregu- 
lar assistance, sorting half-a-dozen niunbers, and then settling 
down to read a seventh. "Not in silence, but with shrill enjoy- 
ment and shriller indignation, both of which sentiments she 
expected her companions to share. There was no "objectiv- 
ising" of the materials with aunt Enmia in the room. Some- 
times Dorothea thought the work would have been endurable 
but for aunt Emma. 

One evening, having worried herself faint over numbers 
and dates, she went out, for a quick walk, in the park. The 
mongrel, whose limb was mended to a limp, accompanied her. 
She crushed the crisp snow beneath her leet. The sky was 
pallid and frosty. The day was dying. In solemn silence the 
cold world was watching him die. 

Dorothea stood by the broad piece of unfrozen water: the 
black band in the shiny expanse. Opposite her rose the dark 
walls of the Manor House, the dull-brown pile, with its tall 
blue roofs. Since her mother's death it had stood thus deserted. 
Great preparations had been made last summer — during their 


servant. " This chest, I was to inform you, contained my late 
Lord Archibald's most important papers. These, madam, are 
the keys. There are twenty-seven large packing, cases and 
three small ones. My lord ordered everything to be packed; 
my lady was most particular about it. And I was to ask for 
a receipt from you, madam, if you please." 

" Cotint the boxes ! " commanded uncle Tony. 

"What do they contain? Bric-k-brac ? " cried aunt Emiiia, 
" Oh, I hox)e it is brac-k-brac. And china." 

The man-servant had opened the great oaken chest. Uncle 
Tony, diving down amongst its papers, produced a faded port- 
folio, a quantity of scrap books. The carter's men were busy 
lining the hall and the passage. Huge boxes were piling up 
all over the place. 

" It is Archibald's comic collection I " gasx)ed Dorothea. 

Uncle Tony had been busy untying the portfolio; a flood 
of highly colored drawings now escaped from it, spreading 
across the carpet a suddenly brilliant corps de ballet, in a 
variety of poses and flesh-tints and spangles, which did honor 
to the caricaturist's ability and justice to the morals of the 
(second) Empire. 

"How amazingly improper!" said aunt Enmia. Aunt 
Mary said nothing. Uncle Tony roared. 

"I believe, madam, the contents of this case are very valu- 
able," said the servant in decorous reproach. 

He and Dorothea and Tony were down on the floor together, 
gathering up the papers. 

" Such things ought to be burned," declared aunt Emma. 

Uncle Tony roared again. 

" For Heaven's sake, let somebody stop those boxes ! " cried 
aunt Emma. 

Dorothea went out into the entrance-hall. One box had 
been broken open. Dozens of volumes of the " Pliegende Blat- 
ter" were visible, packed in piles. 

Standing amongst these accumulated treasures, with the 
servants still heaping them up all around her, Dorothea recalled 
young Lord Archibald's boyish countenance: she seemed to 
hear again his rather foolish laugh. The man-servant had 
come to her elbow. 

"If I saw you alone, Madam," he began hurriedly, "I was 
to say from my lady that my lady begged and prayed you to 
execute Lord Archibald's last wish. My lord is angry, and 
can't bear to have him mentioned, but my lady was his mother, 


you see. And there's the dog. Madam, * Flirt,' that was sent 
home from Italy, it appears that Lord Archibald said you was 
to have it, but I was to ask from my lady, might she keep the 
dog? and please not to betray her to my lord." 

"•Of course — of course she must keep him. Tell her I will 
do what I can." 

" Then, Madam, would you please to write a few words on 
a bit of paper to say that you have received the collection, 
but don't wish for th^ dog." 

So it came about that Dorothea had her hands full of work 
to overflowing — all the charity sewing aunt Mary couldn't 
manage, and now, into the bargain, the endless sorting and 
cataloguing of this wilderness of wit. Archie had done his 
work at haphazard. Immense quantities of labor remained. 
With her thoroughness, having set herself to the uncongenial 
task, she plodded on. Puns, jokes, Joe Millers, coarse pleasan- 
tries, clever drawings — funniness, funniness from morning to 
night. Her sore heart sickened in that atmosphere of laughter. 
She was glad to have no time for thought about herself: on 
the other hand, she certainly felt little desire to spend her days 
with jests and jesters. For the laugh of the fool is as heavi- 
ness to the soul that dwelleth in grief. 

Uncle Tony thoroughly enjoyed the collection, and proved 
a continuous help. In fact, she could not possibly have done 
the work had he not shown her how. Aunt Enmia gave irregu- 
lar assistance, sorting half-a-dozen numbers, and then settling 
down to read a seventh. "Not in silence, but with shrill enjoy- 
ment and shriller indignation, both of which sentiments she 
expected her companions to share. There was no "objectiv- 
ising" of the materials with aunt Emma in the room. Some- 
times Dorothea thought the work would have been endurable 
but for aunt Emma. 

One evening, having worried herself faint over numbers 
and dates, she went out, for a quick walk, in the park. The 
mongrel, whose limb was mended to a limp, accompanied her. 
She crushed the crisp snow beneath her leet. The sky was 
pallid and frosty. The day was dying. In solemn silence the 
cold world was watching him die. 

Dorothea stood by the broad piece of unfrozen water: the 
black band in the shiny expanse. Opposite her rose the dark 
walls of the Manor House, the dull-brown pile, with its tall 
blue roofs. Since her mother's death it had stood thus deserted. 
Great preparations had been made last summer — during their 


stay with the aunts — ^for restoring and re-furnishing it: some 
plans had already been executed; in all these things she had 
acceded, delightedly, to Egon's absolute taste. No one of her 
acquaintance knew one tithe of what he did about all matters 
connected with architecture, furniture, decorative art. ' The 
Manor House was late Dutch Renascence. In ignorance that 
learned gladly she had seen two rooms already grow beautiful 
under his hand. 

Since her return she had not been able to enter the house. 
Constantly she was drawn to the other side of the water. There 
she could linger, away from the bridge. 

She now heard steps coming up behind her in the twilight, 
brisk steps, a man's — ^not uncle Tony's, yet not those of a man 
of the people. A silly apprehension seized upon her, a tremb- 
ling. She dared not look round. The dog barked. 

" My dear Dolly, so engrossed ! " said the Colonel. 

She turned quickly. Her father! 

When last she had seen him, she had not known what she 
knew now! She had respected him up to a point — a willing 
daughter's point — ^for his second marriage, condoning a con- 
nection she could at least understand. For the Bible says it 
is not good that a man should be alone, and her father, of all 
men, must have found life hard as a widower. 

But now she knew that he had caused her mother's death. 

Before she realized what she was doing, her eyes had been 
drawn up to the tall black windows, on the second floor, across 
the water. 

The whole dismal, trivial story swept across her mental 
sight : the happy young life in its daily confidence, the sudden 
vulgar crash in a servant girl's avowal, the untimely birthday 
morning, the white cross by the village church. 

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." 

"You didn't expect me," laughed Colonel Lewis Sandring. 

"No, father." 

"All the same, I hope you're glad?" 

A moment's pause, then: "You know I love you, father." 

He laughed again and kissed her. "You are always so re- 
freshing, Dolly: shall we walk back?" 

" Oh, yes, yes : let us come away from here." 

"It is damp, but all Holland is damp. As I was saying: 
you are always so refreshing, Dolly: you act upon me like 
a shower-bath. That doesn't sound pretty, but I mean you are 
so morally bracing, quite hydropathic. On the whole, for a 


father and daughter who have met late in life, it seems to me 
we get on first-rate. We understand each other perfectly" — 
he tucked her arm under his arm — "I admire you from the 
bottom of my soul : and you love me and wish I was goodier — 
eh?" He looked into her face. 

" But you don't think me so very bad, after all — do you ? " 

The tears were in her heart. She smiled. "You know I 
don't think you any worse than me, father, but I wish you 
had the comfort I've got." 

" Comfort ? I don't need any comfort, my dear. I'm pretty 
comfortable on the whole, I can assure you. But you — you: 
yes, I am very sorry. My heart bleeds for you. I want to 
say haK-a-dozen words to you — ^I may, majrn't I?" 

She stopped short. "How did you know?" 

" Aurelie wrote, your former maid. She is with the Coun- 
tess Kauenfels." 

Dorothea blushed scarlet. 

"If you would let me say one sentence, an unkind sen- 
tence, it would be: *I told you so.' I told you so at Nice, 
child. I told you at Lugano. You were angry with me then: 
you will probably be angry once more. All the same, I must 
speak. You wronged Egon from the first. No man wants to 
be loved for his moral perfections, which he knows very well 
don't exist. No man, not an idiot, or a cad. And the love 
which is built on such a pin's point is bound to come down 
with a crash." 

"Oh, don't," she said, "don't." They had gone round by 
the bridge. The great desolate Manor House seemed to cry 
out to her. 

"Yes, I will. I fell like a surgeon. A woman must love 
a man, in spite of his faults, Dolly, or she'd much better not 
love him at all." 

"His faults P' She had loosened her arm. Her voice, her 
attitude, were splendid in their sore indignation. 

"You wilfully misunderstand me," replied the Colonel 
rather testily. " The big things come later, when the little 
things have gone wrong." 

"Then, in fact, you blame me." 

"I never blame anyone, least of all a woman." He had 
taken a pace ahead: he turned round and looked straight at 
her. " Well, yes, if you like to put it so, I blame you. When 
a man's dull, he looks for music. When a man's cold, he calls 
for blankets. He must have his creature comforts, and his 


soul comforts. Comfort is what a man requires. Oiulietta 
sang wonderfully, and she had artistic i)ereeption. She had 
a lot of soul-cushions handy for Egon to flop down on. Man 
at his hest, in his virtues and his f ailings, is very like a fine- 
tempered dog, and woman, at her best, is first cousin to an 
angel. My dear, they marry, and it can't be helped." 

They walked on in silence. ** Women like you shouldn't 
marry," he said presently. "No, they shoiddn't marry, 
women like you — and she I " 

Dorothea heard in amazement: his voice was broken. He 
kept his face turned away. 

The great house still frowned upon them as they walked 
along the water-side. 

She could bear no longer his averted face, the thought of 
his husky voice. She crept close to him and put her arm about 
his neck, and drew his cheek towards her as one might draw 
a child's. 

"I was speaking of your mother," he said. 

She answered : " I knew." 

"You knew. Oh, Dorothea, yet you kissed me I" 

For only answer she kissed him again. 

Jealous, the dog leaped up at them, barking. 

" Child, I have never been back again here — ^never seen that 
house — since the day when we took her to the churchyard yon- 
der. But the place has never been out of my memory : - 
I have seen it at night on African battlefields, by American 

camp-fires. I'm not going to be sentimental, d it. (I beg 

your pardon, Dorothea.) I — ^I can't say I'm especially re- 
morseful. 'Twasn't my fault: I can't make myself different 
from what nature made me. But seeing that place again all 
of a sudden, and you, Dorothea, and to think that you — ^you're 
not going to die, are you?" 

"No, father." 

"That's right. You and Egon are going to live happily 
for years. We shall have plenty of time to talk about it. And 
that brings mp to another subject. Mrs. Sandring is here." 

"In Holland?" 

" With your aunts. Perhaps we had better go back and ask 
them to give us some tea." 

"We had indeed." Dorothea wondered what, at that 
moment, the Baroness was saying to her hostesses. 

"Yes, we are both here. And, in fact, we have got a little 


plan. We want to keep you company, Dolly, till this little 
storm has blown over." 

" But the house it too small ! " exclaimed Dolly.